How to Differentiate a Good Boss from a Bad Boss

Your current job is the one you’ve dreamt of for a really long time. The benefits are great, and it pays pretty well. Yet lately, you’ve noticed that you’re losing motivation and drive to go to work. You love the job, yes—but you feel that something doesn’t sit well with your work setup and you’ve grown uncomfortable working. There are many causes of why demotivation happens at work, but the most prevalent root of employee dissatisfaction is poor management. To help you see the broader view, we’ve written a guide on how to differentiate a good boss from a bad boss.

Ask an employee what makes someone a bad boss and the discussion will be heated. Anger, humiliation, and disappointment will surely come to light. What’s difficult is that sometimes, bosses are uncertain whether or not they’re the ones causing these emotions. 

Good Bosses vs. Bad Bosses

What Good Bosses Do:

  • Avoid gaslighting employees
  • Don’t just lead, but also mentor.
  • Practice constructive criticism and keep tabs on how employees feel
  • Know the boundaries of work and personal life
  • See opportunities when challenges and instabilities arise
  • Manage plans properly, adhering to the right schedule
  • Honest and attuned to the employees’ emotional needs
  • Lead by collaboration, not authority
  • Recognize high-performing team members; and
  • Inspire low-performing workers to do better by providing intensive, regular training.

It’s too easy to spot good bosses, right? The real problem actually lies in conquering your demotivation by spotting the signs of bad leadership and proactively working on it. Here’s a gist of what bad leadership looks like:

What Bad Bosses Do:

  • Impose self-interest on the team’s plans because they have the “upper hand”
  • Press rules and systems without consulting members
  • Roll out fresh, exciting projects only to favored employees
  • Leave low-performing team members with supporting works
  • Treat employees like working machines devoid of emotion and fatigue
  • Micromanage tasks already assigned to workers, breeding an atmosphere of distrust
  • Practice preferential treatment or “favoritism”
  • Manage inconsistently—no objective or goals in leadership
  • Ignore members’ achievement and own it instead
  • Shift blame to lower-rank employees to cover own mistakes
  • Exercise passive leadership, opposite to micromanagement

Bad leadership affects productivity greatly. Everyone gets tired and restless from working too much. Top it with bad management and it will open a plethora of stress and shortcomings. 

If you’re a manager, admit that first and foremost, your employees are people—not machines. So, whether you think about it or not, they have lives of their own. Here’s a fact: employees don’t have to put up with bad bosses just because their jobs pay well. So, to lead effectively, get an insight into who your employees are as people. Who knows, this may help you manage them well. 

Further, as a leader, you must take accountability in ensuring everyone has a strong drive to achieve the company’s goals. Letting ineffective management affect your employees’ performances is a mistake you will definitely regret later. But, as the saying goes, it’s never too late to start again. Benefit your company by working positively with others; it will help nurture your personal growth, too.

Photo by Marl Clevenger on Unsplash

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