Avoiding Bad Boss Syndrome

Are You Guilty of Being a Bad Boss?

If you are reading this, then you are probably not that bad! Whereas those that are, will most likely be engaging in some kind of Bad Boss activity…

Being a Bad Boss isn’t generally something you aspire too. I would imagine very few of us actually set up in business, investing significant time and funds, to become a Bad Boss. From my observations, Bad Boss Syndrome comes primarily as a result of a desperation to succeed and a blindness to the need and benefits of personal self development.

What Is Bad Boss Syndrome?

Bad Boss Syndrome often involves the following tendencies. You might be guilty of one of them, or all of them:

  • A Need to Control Everything

    Your team have their roles and responsibilities, but you feel the need to be on their backs every single second of the day. Reminding them of what they need to be doing immediately. You step in, take over meetings, calls, project plans etc. You just can’t leave them to get on and do the job.

  • You Criticise Your Team Publicly

    Aarrgghh! Someone has made a mistake. Missed a deadline. Not done those 20 things you just this second ago told them to do. You don’t hold back. You tell them very clearly what they’ve done wrong. You may even throw in a few insults too, just in case they aren’t feeling bad or embarrassed enough. You’re stupid! You’re incompetent! You idiot! You show no respect for your team. You simply don’t feel you have to. They’ve made a mistake and you don’t care who knows about it. In fact, if all of the team hear about it, they may work harder to avoid the same “show-down”.

  • You Take Credit for Others Work

    When things go well it is all because of you. It’s your vision, your creativity, your leadership, your tenacity, your drive. You know it and are definitely going to make sure everybody else does too. You totally ignore who it was in your team that actually did the work. You down play anyone else’s involvement. You make sure you get the credit.

  • You Expect Your Team To Regularly Work Above Their Contracted Hours

    Well, look, let’s face it. You just cannot afford to pay them for all the hours you need. The business just cannot afford it. If they want a job then they’ll do all they can to make the business survive and thrive – even if it does mean they have to do a lot more than you promised when you took them on, or more than is fair. You’ve got your Range Rover, large house and holiday home to maintain, so money is really tight. You just need to squeeze everything you can out of them and all will be ok. you don’t see the benefit of work -life balance. you work all hours and expect all your staff to do so too.

  • You Contact Your Team Out of Hours

    Even when the office is closed you cannot let up the pressure. A question pops in to your mind. If you don’t deal with it, you may forget it. The solution: Call the team. They won’t mind. They will understand. It’s only 3 minutes of their time. I’m working from home, I can’t finish what I’m doing without their input, their commitment. It just cannot wait. I have to get it off my mind. You get mad if they don’t answer. Don’t reply. When they work for you, they work when you need them to – even if they are off.

  • You Have Un-Realistic Expectations

    You expect results. You ignore feedback. You fail to ensure all the jigsaw pieces are available whilst expecting the picture to still be completed. You expect them to go from A-Z without having to go via all the other letters first. You make a change, an investment. You think and expect it to solve a problem, but you’ve not tackled the root. Your head is in the clouds. Your targets are so high your team on the ground has absolutely no idea how they can be achieved.

  • You Yell. You Scream. You Shout.

    You are frustrated. You are overwhelmed. You are just so stressed. Nobody understands just how serious the situation is. The only way to can get them to appreciate it is to vent your feelings loudly. Very loudly. You are out of control!

  • You Waste Time

    You involve staff in things they don’t need to be involved in. You send whole teams out on a job or jolly. You ask people for opinions on topics outside their expertise. You change your mind last minute and the team has to re-do the job again completely. You let people get on with the job, but then don’t like what they have done, so make them change it. You’ve got a long drive ahead of you for a client meeting, so to fill the time, you just make a few calls to your team – after all, it pays to make sure they are doing what you just told them to do before you left…

The Message You Are Communicating:

“I’m a Bad Boss!”

“I Only Care About Me”

“You are Un-Important To Me!”

“I’m Better Than You”

“You Need Me (your job) More Than I Need You!”

The Result:

De-motivated Staff

Increasing Dis-like and Respect of You

Less Interest In Working With You To Achieve Goals

More Interest in Looking for Alternative Job Opportunities

Undercurrent, Bad Atmosphere.

The Silent Killer…

Being a Bad Boss you sap the energy from your team members. They are forced to use valuable energy reserves on trying to work out the best way of dealing with you.

Being desperate to succeed has the opposite effect when you take on Bad Boss Syndrome to get there. Let that sink in. Really sink in.

What you’ll get instead is a decrease in production and an increase in production costs. You’ll see an increase in employee turnover – and those costs are heavy. You’ll create a very unpleasant environment to work in. Yes that bad atmosphere could all be down to you and your Bad Boss Syndrome.

Even more importantly. Bad Boss Syndrome can literally kill a small business.

How To Avoid Bad Boss Syndrome

The very first thing you need to do is ACCEPT. Most of us on some level have a degree of “Bad Boss” about us. Just accept it. Don’t fight it.

Your business can only be as good as the boss.

Aim to become the best boss you can if you really want a business that thrives.

What Do Good Bosses Do?

  • Communicate Effectively

    Create a communications map. Ensure your team knows who is responsible for communication in each area. Ensure it flows 2-way. Check in with the wider team to ensure the message is getting through. Make sure meetings have a specific purpose. They are expensive! Expect preparation and agree action points. Then leave your team to do the job. Consider regular briefings where you don’t even sit down!

  • Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

    Break them down your big picture goals in to easy to understand small actionable tasks. Delegate. Review. Act. Celebrate achievement regularly

  • Ask for Feedback

    Review and appraise your team regularly and ask for the same in return. Get your teams views. Don’t be clueless! If you hear something you do not like, take it as an opportunity to improve. Do not take it personally. If people didn’t care, they wouldn’t bother to offer you the opportunity to improve and get it right. The better you are, the better your business will be.

  • Accept You Don’t Have ALL the Answers

    You have a team. You have employed them for all the skills and experiences they have. Utilise them fully. Let them flourish and grow and develop. The more you allow your team to grow the more your business can grow and develop. A team is only as good as it’s weakest member. Recognise their skills and let them add more and more value. Always get the best person to do a job.

  • Be Flexible.

    Listen to what your team has to say. Seriously consider the benefits. Be prepared to change.

  • Be Positively Assertive.

    Being the boss means you are ultimately responsible in the way no-one else is. You need to tackle problems and ensure goals are achieved. Do this by being assertive enough to motivate and drive your team forward positively but no to the extent that you totally overwhelm them and turn them off.

  • Praise Your Team

    Praise your team as often as you can. Recognise small achievements as well as the big ones. Praise your staff publicly – criticise them privately.

  • Show Utter Respect For Your Team

    Whether that is in the way you communicate or your insistence on them not taking work home as a matter of course. Treat them fairly. If they work overtime for free, insist they take the time back when it’s possible. If you have to disturb them at times when they are not working, reward them frequently with small gifts to say thank you. Treat them as an equal. You can’t do your job, if they don’t do theirs. A jigsaw puzzle cannot be completed if one piece is missing – even if it is just the same as all the others around it, or lacking any particular appeal.

  • Do What You Say You Are Going To Do

    You can quickly lose all credibility if you over promise and under deliver. Turn up at the time you have agreed. Finish by the time you have agreed. Pay the rise or bonus you have promised. Write that email. Make that call. Buy that equipment. When you don’t deliver, you set a precedent. Don’t be sloppy. Set an example you want others to follow.

  • Make Personal Development a Priority

    When you become a boss, it’s unlikely you have all the skills you need. Recognise this and get the help, training, support and mentorship you need. When you become over tired and under stress you can become over bearing and inconsiderate. Recognise your foibles and avoid imposing them on your team by developing skills to overcome them.

    #BuildABetterMe    #BuildABetterBusiness

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