Bad Boss

Posted by Sahil, 6 Sept 2014

Let me clear, I am not tagging any manager in this post.

Six months before I was also not aware about the term BAD BOSS. I was thinking that he is also a teammate with some extra years of experience.

I am still young enough in this so called corporate world, so cannot comment on this from my personal experience. I have extracted some points from a blog shared by my friend.

No doubt, boss carries a different position in a team. Now it is on him, how he will utilize his powers. The way he says something to team, will definitely portray the performance of the team. The wrong words said by him can destroy employee's morale and motivation.

Though this is the basic learning for a manager level person how to handle people, some of them will continue saying such bad things during their conversation with fellow teammates.

Some wrong things that a manager should avoid saying to employees are pointed below:

1. You’re lucky to even have a job

You will hear this phrase frequently during bad job market condition. This actually means,"You should be grateful to me that you still have job in such conditions outside. And you have to work, no matter how bad it is."

2. Just figure it out

Sometimes it is useful for an employee to learn something on his own, but after trying also if he is not able to get it, it is job of a manager to guide and coach him. A good manager would more clearly say, "This is something that I'd like you to handle yourself, using resources X, Y and Z. 'Just figure it out' is both lazy and unkind.

3. I received an anonymous report…

A good manager will never use any such report to address problems to employee. They will use the impact of the problematic behavior creating on the work.

4.....but you're doing fine

Feedback is the core for the process of improvement. It should follow some standards. Employees deserve to know what they're doing well, how they could be doing better and where they should focus on developing. Saying only 'you are doing fine' won't work ideally!!!

5. That’s a dumb idea

Great ideas usually come from environments where it's safe to think out loud and toss ideas around, good or bad. It’s a fact - not every idea which comes to you will be a great one, but to hear a good idea you should allow others to present their ideas and then discuss on it.

6. That dress really flatters your figure

Commenting on employee's physical appearance – particularly their bodies – is a good way to make people uncomfortable, as well as invite harassment complaints down the road.

7. You don't need to know what this is for – just do what I tell you to do

It is easy to give orders without providing related context and expectations. It will surely help in ending the relationship with your teammates. If you continue to do so, it will lead to lack of ownership in people and they will divert to some other company where they can find the freedom with a personal stake in their work.

8. What’s wrong with you?

Feedback should never be personal. Good managers keep the focus on behavior that needs to change – writing skills, attention to detail, judgment or so forth. They don't make it personal and attack someone's intelligence or worth.

9. You’re so much better at this than Bob is...

Complimenting someone should not include putting down someone else's name. This will surely make them understand that you will use his name to compliment someone else one day. Employees want to trust their managers to give them feedback in private, not make unflattering comments about them to their co-workers.

Life is about good and bad both. It is the 'bad' who make you understand what 'good' means.

The points taken out from '10 Things Bad Bosses Say' by Alison Green