Top Three Signs That You Are a Bad Boss

Top Three Signs That You Are a Bad Boss

Anyone who’s ascended to a leadership role knows that being a boss isn’t easy, and unfortunately, there’s no concrete guide on how to do it right.

Because of the difficulty and unclear guidelines, many inexperienced managers do more harm than good when supervising and growing their teams. Even those who think they’re running an effective ship can wear down their staff without realizing it.

Below, we’ll look at the three clearest warning signs that you’re a bad boss and what you can do to correct them.

Table of Contents

1. You Don’t Have Any Short or Long-Term Plans

It’s challenging to gauge how much you should put on your employees’ plates when you’re a boss with a different workload and schedule. Of course, all leaders hand their teams projects with deadlines. But good leaders know how to plan short-term work so as not to overwhelm or underwhelm their employees. 

On the other hand, a bad boss will simply hand tasks out with no accurate sense of how long they take to finish and set an arbitrary deadline for when each employee must complete them. Perhaps most crucially, an ineffective boss will go about their day without seeking additional input.

If your team repeatedly misses deadlines or doesn’t work diligently through full days, you’re likely not planning their workload as carefully as you should.

Bad managers often make short-term work even more taxing by not setting long-term goals and giving that work any purpose. You might have a clear idea of why you’re handing weekly projects to your team, but if you don’t set an achievable goal for them to work toward, that labour will quickly turn grating, and the results will show in their effort.

How to Be a Better Planner

2. You Don’t Give Your Employees Space

Everyone in leadership positions wants their team’s work to be as sharp as possible. But what separates a bad boss from a good one is not having faith in their employees to produce that top-quality work on their own.

Bad bosses hover over their employee’s shoulders every day and dictate how they should do their jobs. Of course, you should give your team coaching and constructive feedback to help them grow, but not trusting them to complete the basics of their jobs without extensive direction wears on employees’ motivations.

Why You Should Avoid Micromanaging

3. You Treat Your Team Poorly

Inexperienced bosses often mistreat their employees more than they realize to try and steer their company toward better results. But harsh leadership tactics that prioritize the bottom line over team members’ personal needs lead to decreased performance on top of disgruntled employees.

Only offering negative feedback after a project is a classic mistake that every bad boss makes. Of course, you should identify your team’s weak points to help them grow, but nitpicking minor issues or only focusing on what went wrong will frustrate your team and even make them question their ability.

Overworking team members is another classic mistake ineffective managers make. They want their most experienced employees to take on the most critical projects, but that often requires them to work longer hours and with more effort just to satisfy their boss’s demands. The harsh workload can lead to more frustration, burnout, and mental health issues.

How to Boost Your Employees’ Confidence

How to Become a Good Boss

Correcting those three classic mistakes will take you from a bad boss to an average one. But if you want to elevate from someone your team members tolerate to someone they love working with, you’ll also need to avoid these follies.

Don’t Put Yourself on a Higher Level

Don’t Make Everything About Work

Don’t Give Special Treatment to Friends

Don’t Ignore Outside Ideas


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