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5 qualities that mark a bad boss - and how you can defend yourself
Most of us are certainly annoyed by the boss now and then. But unfortunately it is the case that at many management levels there are still people who seem to have little idea how to lead a team and who fail completely on a human level. We have listed the five most common characteristics of these horror bosses for you here. But what do you do when you are under the regime of one? We would like to clarify exactly this question in the following. And who knows: maybe this article can also serve as a mirror for the executives who are reading along. If you notice for yourself that you are a bad boss, you may be able to turn things around - for the better.
1. Your boss is a narcissist
In extreme cases, a narcissistic tendency in the supervisor can become an enormous psychological burden for employees. This quality becomes clear through contempt. In order to validate themselves and make them look better, executives with this character trait put down their employees. It should be noted here that it could actually be a personality disorder that would have to be treated psychotherapeutically. However, this is not always the case and narcissistic tendencies show up when your manager tries to make fun of you, preferably in the presence of colleagues, speaks badly at your work and makes you feel like a loser. It gets particularly ugly when the person starts threatening you and explains how interchangeable your role is for the company.
Advice for workers: Needless to say, the psychological stress associated with the systematic devaluation of oneself and the services provided. Defending yourself against these traits is the hardest, as they are deeply rooted in the person's personality. Often the only thing that helps here is to grow a thick skin or to flee. A counterattack usually only causes more damage.
Advice for employers: If you find yourself with the personality described above, reconsider your behavior and seek the help of an expert if necessary. It could be a narcissistic personality disorder, the side effects of which can be treated with medication. But even without such a disorder, visiting a psychologist can have advantages - this not only helps your employees, but also yourself.
2. Your boss doesn't know the word recognition
Do you actually like your work, kneel down on projects and always deliver them successfully? And still you don't even get a pat on the back from your manager? This is not an uncommon case. Time and again, executives seem to underestimate the importance of recognizing the achievements of their employees. This is how appreciation can be expressed, which serves as a motivation for better performance. Apart from that, recognition leads to employees staying longer with the company, being loyal and feeling more comfortable in the work environment.
Advice for workers: Actively seek the conversation and ask for constructive feedback. This forces your boss to grapple with and reflect on the results of your work. So, in the best case, he will praise the positive aspects and at the same time perhaps provide useful advice or goals for the future - and perhaps soon show appreciation on his own initiative.
Advice for employers: Appreciate the work of your employees. Your employees do what they do for your company. They keep the wheel going and ensure success and profit growth. Of course, you don't have to praise every little thing, but showing appreciation after a successful project shouldn't be asking too much. This can be done through personal conversations, an invitation to lunch or some other small benefit for everyone.
3. Your boss sees you as a tool
It is also a sign of poor leadership if your line manager can't even remember your name. Unfortunately, many bosses are characterized by a lack of empathy and compassion. In their eyes, employees are nothing more than tools that get work done. No more. With such a superior, every notification of sickness is an overcoming. Such people also show little understanding when, for example, asked about a day off due to personal emergencies. And overtime? They are a basic requirement for such managers and of course do not have to be rewarded or even prevented. Most of you should know the latter in particular.
Advice for workers: Here it can help to confront the boss directly with his behavior. Be factual, but explain that certain situations are inevitable. Question whether he would like to be treated that way too. In extreme cases, you can also try to make the manager feel guilty. The only important thing is that you don't sound like a whiny, nagging kid. So don't get too emotional when you address yourself, but present the facts in a hard and rational way.
Advice for employers: Empathy is one of the most important qualities that make a good leader. An employee who takes sick leave is not always lazy. Private problems cannot always be separated from everyday work either. Think about how you would like to be treated in exceptional situations - and behave the same way towards your employees. Show compassion, understanding, and most importantly, learn the names of those who report directly to you.
4. Your boss is a control freak
Many probably know it. You are rarely allowed to make decisions yourself, but have to clarify everything with your supervisor - even if it is your area of responsibility. Your boss interferes in everything, throws employees' plans overboard and, in severe cases, meticulously checks your break times? Congratulations, you work for a control freak. This situation is particularly harmful for companies because the employees' potential cannot develop and their dissatisfaction grows.
Advice for workers: One method you can try is to do your own thing but give the boss regular updates on your progress. Hopefully, he notices that his employees can work independently - without having to constantly appear for control. You can also try to build trust. Of course, you don't have to sneak in to your manager, but gaining some sympathy by laughing at jokes or listening to stories can be helpful.
Advice for employers: Let go of the reins. Too many employers are afraid of giving up responsibilities and losing power. However, you will get a lot more respect from your employees if you express your trust in them in the form of responsibilities. Numerous studies have already shown that control freaks only hinder the progress of a company. So try to loosen up bit by bit - you will see how this is positively reflected in the results of your projects.
5. Your boss is hiding everything
Many of you are also familiar with this phenomenon: Your superior is a book with seven seals. You don't know what his job actually looks like, how the salary policy works and some figures that your company writes are completely withheld from you. Transparency is the basis for trust. And trust in the employer is essential to ensure that employees are more loyal, have more respect for their superiors and are more motivated to go to work.
Advice for workers: Request information. You have a right to know certain things. So ask your boss, if necessary in front of the entire team. Then your colleagues might get on board and in the end the manager has no choice but to open up.
Advice for employers: You have already read about the advantages of transparency above. Now is the time to really change something. Do not hide everything from your employees, but explain to them how your salary policy is composed, which tasks you perform, in which sectors there may be problems at the moment. This is how you build trust and who knows - for one or the other problem there may also be a solution among the employees.
More tips on how to defend yourself against a horror boss
In addition to the points listed here, there are many other scenarios and behaviors by employers that can piss you off and limit your work. Fortunately, there is just as much more advice. For example, if your boss is a bully and loves teasing you and other colleagues with sexist, racist, and other remarks, repartee can help. Counter stupid sayings wittily. You can find out how to do this in various tutorials. For a choleric person, keeping quiet can help. Just wander your mind and ignore your manager's yelling - as best you can. However, if the behavior of your boss is not acceptable at all, band together with colleagues and file a complaint with the works council. Sometimes you have to play the “sneak” and “blacken” or report to your supervisor on the next higher management floor.
If the above extreme cases have not yet occurred, but your boss tends to develop more and more negative attitudes, seek dialogue first. Explain what bothers you and other colleagues about the manager's behavior. If things went better earlier, let them know. This may allow your manager to recognize their own mistakes. At the same time, it can also help to show understanding when the boss is simply electrified, after all, he also has many responsibilities. And if you know that certain behaviors cause negative reactions in your manager, try to actively avoid them.
Last resort: retreat
If the behavior of your boss is no longer bearable, you are mentally and physically attacked due to the tense relationship and all attempts at mediation fail: withdraw. That means you should quit. Of course, this is a serious step that also entails risks for you. In addition, many employees see a termination as a defeat against their boss. However, bear one thing in mind: Everyone deserves to be treated humanely and with respect. If that's not the case at your workplace, the job isn't worth that kind of stress - even if it's your dream business. Nobody deserves harassment from the boss. Exactly for this reason, a termination in this case is by no means a defeat, but a liberation. Your health and your career will benefit from finding a healthier work environment with a manager who values you as an employee.
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