Leadership Insights: What makes a bad boss?

You don’t want to be the Michael Scott who makes good employees cringe when you enter the room.



It’s almost cliché to say that people leave bad bosses, not companies. For half of all Americans, the number one reason for leaving a job is their bad boss. Learning what makes a boss bad and making improvements on those oddities can lead to positive outcomes in productivity, morale, and the bottom line of the company. Here are specific insights on what makes one a bad boss. 

You may probably have faced at least once in your professional career a situation where a bad boss is in the leading position at the company. There are many characteristics of a bad boss, but some of them are common for all bad bosses around. 

To make things easier for you and your colleagues, you must acknowledge what the traits of bad bosses are and how to deal with them. Let’s see more about this phenomenon at work. 

characteristics of a bad boss

It’s easy to notice the characteristics of a bad boss easily and tackle them timely.

What makes a bad boss?

There are very obvious characteristics of a bad boss, and you can notice them very easily. These characteristics are common for most bad bosses, and you can see these traits if a boss has the following behaviors:

  1. A boss gives an advantage to certain people who have better schedules and assignments. This is obvious if a boss has the favorite people who have better conditions than others. 
  2. Speaks loudly and one-sidedly to an employee. If a boss uses a harsh communication style, he or she usually does not allow an employee to defend themselves. The communication is difficult and it is full of accusations. In such dynamics, it is impossible to have a healthy working atmosphere. 
  3. A bad boss does not have clear goals, expectations, and timelines. He or she changes their mind very fast and this kind of approach does not provide balance to the employees. It is a situation when employees do not know how to meet the expectations of the boss because the expectations are not clear and stable. 
  4. Bad bosses take credit for all of the positive sides in the performance of the employees. At the same time, when a performance is not positive, a bad boss blames the employees and puts the heaviness of the bad performance on their back. This kind of behavior creates misunderstandings and a toxic environment at work. 
  5. They fail to provide recognition for the positive performance of employees, and they take credit for the success their employees make. On the other hand, the employees are not satisfied and this is a big problem in future communication. 

Dealing with a bad boss

Now when you know what makes a bad manager, you should find out how to deal with them. There are a few very effective methods to deal with a bad boss, and here we present them to you. 

Do not be a target – It is very important to not be a target in the atmosphere where a toxic boss is present. Do your work and do it well. Try to keep professionalism at the highest level and never complain about the situation if you are not ready to stand up and make some critical moves against the boss. If you keep yourself calm and if you professionally do the job, even a bad boss will notice your effort to keep the business going well. 

Do not gossip around – Despite working for a bad boss, you should avoid gossiping and rumors at your workplace. Speaking negatively about the boss can create an even worse atmosphere, and you can be the person whose gossip is around the place. 

Keep detailed records – It is very important to record everything you can if you are dealing with a bad boss. Your experience might be full of negative situations, and you must keep detailed records of them. If some accusations come to you in the future, you will be able to defend yourself and keep your position intact.

If you are working for a bad boss, you may be very dissatisfied with your current job. However, you have options to deal with a bad boss. It is just a matter of your actions that can make a difference at the workplace where you are right now. 

Christy Gren
Christy Gren is an Industry Specialist Reporter at Industry Leaders Magazine she enjoys writing about Unicorns, Silicon Valley, Startups, Business Leaders and Innovators. Her articles provide an insight about the Power Players in the field of Technology, Auto, Manufacturing, and F&B.

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