Being a boss is not easy but then again, being an employee of team member of a bad boss is not great! Of course, like all things, there are great managers and really bad ones. For many its like a lottery when it comes to what you might end up with – so, here is a list of the five worst types of bosses you want to keep an eye out for; and some of them will be completely recognisable to you!
The ladder climber
The ladder climber is someone who would essentially climb over anyone they can to get a promotion even when it comes as a result of them actually not performing in their own job. These are the people that convince their superiors that they are the best things sliced bread and know exactly what the business or organisation needs in order to be successful. The problem with ladder climbers is often they themselves risk being over taken by other ladder climbers. When something bad happens they will do anything to blame someone else so they come out smelling like roses.
I just want to be best friends forever (the BFF)
Have you ever had a boss that just wants to be friends all of the time? Now, there is nothing wrong with being mates but have you ever thought to yourself that may they don’t really want to be friends that its all just a management philosophy? The other challenge is that the person themselves doesn’t like confrontation or has very little or no experience in managing sticking situations. This means when things do happen they remain largely unresolved or fester. The Best Friends for Ever (BFF) manager can also leave you confused when it comes to cross signals or mixed messages.
These are the managers that work for the sake of working or because their lives are built around work and they can be very harmful. First of all, they see no reason why you should not work the long hours or as hard they do. Of course, they are usually paid more for that extra work and responsibility. The second thing is they don’t understand the role families play when it comes to those in their team with children – about the need to be flexible if kids need to be picked up from school or even fall ill. A workaholic is also the kind of person that doesn’t understand that sometimes just because you work long hours doesn’t mean to suggest the quality of the work is going to be any good.
The dreaded micro manager
Ever get the feeling that everything you do is under some form of scrutiny? This is where the Micro manager comes into their own. They are the types of people who have to know everything that is going on with every task right down to the colour of the pen you might be using or the font on a report. They leave very little room for you to grow and learn and will often not necessarily give you feedback on why they believe something is right or wrong. Every little detail, however right or wrong, comes under the watching gaze of the micro manager.
You cannot escape the fact that some managers are just bullies with over inflated egos who like to threaten you into performance. There are also two types; the first is the bully who is blunt, to the point and doesn’t muck around. But when they make a point it usually comes with the threat such as “sort it out or I will and you’ll regret it” or “fix it your fired”. The second type of bully is the person who won’t make it obvious and may do it to you away from other staff members. In case bullies are the worst type of boss.
So how do you manage people like this?
My advice is simple. When it comes to ladder climbers they always come unstuck because just as a ladder has a starting point it also has an end. The challenge for a business or organisation is always to ensure they understand the risk of employing a ladder climber can fall onto the bottom line. The workaholic is all about setting boundaries and educating them as to why you can’t do this or that task. Workaholic’s actually do mean well but they don’t always understand other people’s circumstances.
When it comes to the BFF – again it’s about setting the boundaries. Yes, be courtesy and respectful, be a team player, but also keep work life as work and personal life and personal. The micro-manager is very much about pushing back – of telling your manager “actually, these are the things I am focussed on at the moment and it would be great if we could check in at an agreed point during the week” – again it is about boundary setting.
Finally, the bully – simple – report it to the manager above your boss and go higher if you need to. No one should need to put up with a bully in whatever form they take!
About the author: Matthew Tukaki is the Host of the popular radio show in Australia called Second Career on the Talking Lifestyle Network and is the former Head of the world's oldest and one of the largest recruitment companies, Drake International.
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