5 traits of a bad manager

Are you a bad manager? If you exhibit any of these traits, your staffers may think so.

Often, supervisors commit bad behaviors without realizing it — but that doesn’t matter to employees, who don’t always know the boss’s motivations.

Whether they’re intentional or not, here are five classic traits of a bad manager:

  1. They use fear to motivate – Some supervisors believe employees will work harder if they think their jobs are in jeopardy. But the opposite is true — stress is a real productivity killer. Even if people work hard to save their jobs, it’ll only last a short time before they burn out.
  2. They give special treatment – It’s OK to reward employees that have earned it. But some managers use the tactic of working out a special deal with an employee (such as a one-time bonus, or a chance to work from home sometimes) on the condition that the employee doesn’t tell anyone. Inevitably, everyone finds out anyway and feels slighted. Instead, those rewards should be public knowledge and the ways to earn them should be made clear.
  3. They take credit for successes and blame others for failures – Staffers need to understand you’re part of their team — when something bad happens, the entire team (including the manager) is at fault, and vice versa when good things occur.
  4. They don’t want to hear bad news – Projects hardly ever go exactly according to plan, and it’s the manager’s job to discover challenges and setbacks and help steer the team around them.
  5. They won’t let employees do their jobs – Every staffer was hired because the manager and the company trust them to do a good job — that’s one reason it’s frustrating for employees to be micromanaged.

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  • Marlon French

    Sounds like the a-hole I work for.