Nobody wants to be told that he or she is a bad boss. But the hard truth is: bad bosses usually don’t realize they’re bad. They simply assume they’re fantastic bosses, that everyone loves working for them. And, even if you’re usually a pretty good boss, it’s likely you’ve had your bad moments, times when you may not have been the best leader.
Whether you think you’re a great boss or worried that you might not be, it’s a good idea to evaluate your leadership tactics every few months. Not only will this help you see if you’re doing anything wrong, it will also spark innovative leadership ideas.
Look over these five ways to tell if you’re a bad boss and make sure you don’t fit the bill!
You’re overwhelmed at work.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the lengthy to-do list on your desk, chances are you’re not delegating duties to your team. In other words, you’re micromanaging tasks rather than encouraging your employees to take on responsibilities where they could thrive. Rather than trying to do everything yourself, organize your tasks and translate duties to your team in a reasonable, understandable manner.
Your employees are bored.
Do your employees’ eyes glaze over during meetings? Do you catch your employees doodling at their desks instead of working on a task? It’s possible that your employees are bored, either with your ability to communicate or the task at hand. During meetings, evaluate how to get the message across in the most effective, timely manner. When assigning a task, consider how long it will take to complete and which employees would do the job best.
You can’t give constructive criticism.
It’s tempting to always complement your employees and never criticize them. After all, you don’t want to be an unpopular boss — you want to be a well-liked one! But a boss who only pays compliments comes across fawning and weak. Plus, it doesn’t give the employees the opportunity to learn from your expertise through constructive criticism.
You work through weekends and never take a vacation.
Are you a boss who works through the weekends? A boss who hasn’t taken a day off in a year? We know you want your company to succeed, but working late and never taking a break sets an unhealthy example about time management. Some employees will try to match your work schedule — and end up burning themselves out. Others will feel discouraged by your work schedule — and believe they’ll never succeed in the company because they don’t work hard enough. Be the kind of boss you want your employees to look up to by organizing your time wisely.
Your employees don’t follow directions.
Do you ever enter the break room to find everyone laughing and hanging out when you know there’s a big deadline approaching? Do you ever arrive at work just a minute or two late, only to find the office still empty because the employees are even later? If you catch your employees bending rules or not following directions, rather than calling them lazy or reprimanding them harshly, consider why they don’t follow orders. Is it a poor working environment? Do they feel encouraged and part of the team? Have you been clear about what, exactly, the directions are?
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