At one point or another, we have all complained about our bosses. It seems to go with the territory, the usual water cooler chit-chat. But there’s a difference between getting upset over the overtime your boss made you work to actually working for a bad boss.
How can you tell the difference? Is there a way to know if you’re just being picky or if your boss is crossing the line?
The answer is yes. There are several things you can watch out for to determine if you are indeed working for a bad boss.
Let’s discuss 9 signs to be on the lookout for, to help you learn more about the behavior you shouldn’t have to put up with in the workplace.
1. They Don’t Motivate You :
A good boss is a leader that loves to motivate their team. To see everyone succeed and enjoy what they do. And they’ll show this by continually being there to give you feedback, support you, and motivate you to do your job well.
If this doesn’t sound like your boss, you and your team may have a problem. Their priorities are elsewhere and not in providing good leadership.
2. They Are Unreliable :
A bad boss will tell you she’ll get back to you on your report, but you never receive any feedback. She’ll give her word that she’ll attend a particular meeting but never shows up. She will promise to call you back, but your phone never rings.
If you can’t rely on your boss for even the littlest things, how in the world can you rely on them for the bigger, important things?
You don’t want to work for a boss who can’t keep their word. Trust is so important, especially when it comes to leadership.
3. They Have Unrealistic Expectations :
It’s one thing to set high goals for you and your co-workers to strive towards when it comes to work performance. It’s quite another when those goals are far too out of reach and downright unrealistic to achieve.
When your boss sets unrealistic expectations, it shows they have their own agenda, and not what’s best for the team at heart. This can bring the morale of the workplace way down and make you dread going to work.
And life’s too short to work for someone like that.
4. They Avoid All Conflict :
Another sign of a bad boss is one who can’t stand up and face a difficult situation.
Whether they avoid having to fire a lazy co-worker, unwilling to deal with an angry client, or refusing to confront another associate who is breaking company policy. It’s a major weakness that can’t be ignored.
A good boss will be able to stand up and deal with any situation that comes their way. They will lead by example. And that is who you want to work for.
5. They Get Defensive :
Have you ever seen your boss get defensive in a meeting when confronted about one of their ideas? Or lash out when they are questioned about something they did?
This is a bad sign that they can’t take criticism.
You want a boss who is able to take the good with the bad. To be able to thoroughly listen to other ideas and be open-minded to other possibilities and ways of doing things.
And you want them to foster an open communication throughout the workplace, instead of having people be scared of being honest.
6. They Rule by Fear :
If you’ve ever seen the movie The Devil Wears Prada, you’re familiar with the mass panic that breaks out when the boss walks into the office. Everyone runs to hide, or cleans up before they get yelled att, or are afraid to even be in the same elevator with her.
No one should have to work in that kind of environment. That’s a dictator, not a boss. And it makes for a toxic workplace.
That’s a situation you need to run from. Immediately.
7. They Don’t Communicate Clearly :
Having a boss who doesn’t communicate clearly can make for a very frustrating work environment!
You’ll think you’re on the right path in a project, then be told by your boss that he actually wanted it done another way. Or they are so vague with instructions or feedback, you’re not sure what you just listened to.
A good boss will effectively lead their team down a clear path with clear goals. A bad boss will leave everyone floundering around in the dark.
8. They Always Seem to Disappear :
Does your boss seem to disappear for hours at a time, without telling anyone where they’re going?
When you need them, are you able to get ahold of them no matter where they might be?
While at first, it may seem like a fun idea to have a boss that’s always gone, in reality, it can cause a lot of issues in the workplace. When something comes up that needs immediate attention and it’s a situation that only your boss can handle, you need to be able to count on them to be there for your team.
9. Your Gut Instinct Tells You So :
That little voice inside your head is there for a reason. If it keeps warning you that something isn’t right, you may want to pay attention.
Don’t ignore that sense of dread you have every time you go into the office. Don’t brush off the feeling that something is off. If you feel like you’re working for a bad boss, you likely are… and it’s time to get out.
Life Is Too Short To Work for a Bad Boss :
If any of these warning signs apply to your work situation, it may be time to look for a new job. You spend a majority of your time working, so don’t waste another minute of it working for a bad boss. You deserve better than that.
Ready to kick that job search into high gear? Be sure to read our tips on how to get your resume noticed!
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