9 Types of Bosses You Never Want to Be
The Mind Meld BossThe Big Daddy (or Mama) BossThe Too Busy BossThe Include Everyone BossThe Blind Spot BossThe Hand Grenade BossThe Groundhog BossThe Cuddlebug BossThe White Hat Boss
Few start out thinking they will become a bad boss. People in charge who are unaware may not even recognize that their actions are creating chaos and dissatisfaction in the workplace. I surveyed colleagues and identified nine bad bosses you never want to be. Here is a guide.--Kevin Daum
This boss has something very specific that they want team members to accomplish. They just can't describe what it is. But they'll know it when they see it so just put something together and they'll give feedback. Unless they have Vulcan psychic training, team members end up angry and frustrated.
This boss wants to think of the workplace as a family....really. They prioritize relationships over efficiency and effectiveness. They give lots of gifts and encourage employees to come to them with any personal problems. There is a high, high tolerance for error...even to the point of incompetence. And no one ever gets fired. Employees feel understood, appreciated, even loved...but they don't feel like they are in a professional environment.
This boss has a strong need to justify their worthiness by showing off their own abilities. They are always looking for problems to solve or advice to give, even when there is no need to boost their own ego. They might even create a difficult situation so that they can then resolve it. Team members end up with the impression that they are not trusted to work unsupervised or to make their own decisions.
This boss has endless meetings knowing the desired outcome, yet asks for everyone's input anyway. This boss will listen, nod, and then when the team is done talking, he or she proceeds with, "Thank you for your ideas. Now here is what we're going to do." Eventually, team members get frustrated at the time wasted and stop contributing since they know their voices won't really be heard and their creative efforts will be ignored.
This boss is fine with most things, but they have that one pet project or employee that they can't see clearly. They are personally invested and refuse to admit that their time and effort isn't going to reap the rewards to justify the work on this project or person. They throw good resources after bad, but they just can't admit to anyone--especially themselves--that it is time to let go.
This boss is generally friendly, or at least cordial, most of the time. Then something sets them off. Someone makes a mistake, or there's miscommunication, etc. Then it is like someone pulled the pin on a hand grenade and BOOM! They yell, make threats, call names, chew out team members out in front of others. They lose their cool. Then they expect others to pick up the pieces.
This boss ALMOST NEVER comes out of their own office. They keep the door closed. They are not accessible (excepting may be to a privileged few). Their name is on memos, e-mails, etc. But you'd never know there was a person there because they never interact with the team. They don't realize that Punxatawny Phil is the only guy allowed to poke his head out once a year.
This person makes a habit of touching others frequently. It may just be friendly pats and slaps on the back, but they never check others' body language to be sure that is welcome. It isn't that some physical contact is wrong, or that the touches are inappropriate, they just don't consider that many people have different needs with regard to personal space.
This boss needs to be seen as the good guy, the nice one, the one everyone likes. They hate negative emotions, ESPECIALLY when they are aimed at themselves. It means they frequently avoid confrontation, their feedback is too non-specific or indirect, and they constantly let people walk into pitfalls. They avoid hard conversations, and when something unpleasant is necessary, they focus more on making sure no one is mad at them than they do on acting in the team's best interest. Like this post? If so, sign up here and never miss out on Kevin’s thoughts and humor.