Google recently conducted one of the most thorough studies of management behavior ever completed by a large corporation. Started in 2009, a team in Google's People Innovation Lab spent one year data mining performance appraisals, employee surveys, nominations for top manager awards, and other sources to evaluate the differences between the highest- and lowest-rated managers. The researchers summarized hundreds of pages of interview notes and data, then shared the results with employees.

Eight signs you're a toxic boss (but don't know it).

Eight qualities were identified in top-performing managers. Ironically, the opposite behavior of these traits are the direct acts of a toxic boss, though most toxic bosses are clueless they even have a problem. If you're a manager, take a minute to see how many of these sound like you:

1. You find yourself frustrated when you have to coach an employee on a skill. Google's study showed top managers are highly rated by employees for their coaching skills. 

2. You feel you must double-check every employee's work. This is a form of micro-managing and is considered a very toxic trait.

3. You have no desire to know anything about your employees other than whether they're doing their job right. Emotional intelligence is considered one of the highest predictors of success as a manager. Caring is vital to earning trust and respect.

4. You feel constantly behind and split in too many directions. Appearing out of control and unable to stay on top of your work is a sign of poor self-management. If you can't manage your own effectiveness and productivity, you can't expect others to do much better.

5. You'd rather stay in your office than converse with your team. Antisocial tendencies are a sign of someone who feels like a poor communicator.

6. You feel your employees' career growth should be their concern, not yours. Investing in the success of your staff builds loyalty and employee retention. It also makes your employees more valuable to you.

7. You can't plan for the growth of the department because you can't imagine ever hitting your existing goals with your current team. Good managers always have a well-articulated vision for growth to convey to the team as a way to motivate them.

8. You hate that some of your staff have skills that force you to depend on them, because you don't have those skills yourself. The best managers know their owns strengths and don't feel threatened by the strengths of those on their team.

If you answered "yes" to one or more of the items above, it's likely you're seen as a less effective leader, and maybe even a toxic boss.

P.S. Not everyone is meant to manage. Your workplace persona can tell you.

Studies by Gallup indicate as much as 82 percent of the time companies make mistakes in whom they choose to be managers. Not everyone has the right workplace persona to be a good boss. That doesn't make you a bad person. It just means you should find a career path that allows you to be more of an individual contributor, so you can be happier and more satisfied in your career. Finding the right fit for your unique combination of strengths is more important than being able to say you are a "manager." Why? Gaining a reputation as a "toxic boss" can be a career killer.

What to Do If Your Boss Is Unavoidably an A-Hole

Published on: Mar 17, 2018