5 Signs of a Bad Manager

In Management by Trushar ModyLeave a Comment

An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

– Mahatma Gandhi

There are some very distinct signs of bad management that if left alone could undermine your business in some very serious ways. Have you noticed any of the following traits amongst your management team?

1. Are they always right?

We are all right and wrong at times, but good leaders know when they need to admit that they were wrong or that someone else may have a better way. When members of management act as though they are always right it stops the flow of ideas which can often lead to greater advancement for your business as a whole. Here’s how to tell when someone is right a little too often:

  • Doesn’t take the time to acknowledge others, whether that is praise or just general communication.
  • Bad listening is an easy giveaway. When they feel that they are right before the conversation has even started, they are not likely to listen intently or at all.
  • Feeling that they don’t need input from others. They don’t take suggestions of improvement well and can get defensive when challenged.

2. Are they self-centered?

When your management is more focused on their bonus than the needs of your company, you are going to have problems. They are going to make decisions that they see as benefiting themselves more than the company as a whole. Watch out for these tell-tale traits:

  • Views themselves as superior to others, including fellow members of their own management team.
  • Using their friendliness as a tool to get what they want.
  • Being over-exuberant about their successes to overshadow, or hide, their failures and fears.

3. Are they lacking in self-awareness & accountability?

Your management team needs to be more than bosses; they need to be leaders. Good leaders are aware of what they are saying, how they are conveying themselves, and in general how their behavior affects the rest of the team. Here are the signs of a ‘boss’ rather than a leader:

  • Deflecting difficult situations through passive-aggressive tendencies.
  • Belittling or bully other members of staff, or even customers, to get what they want or to gain themselves an advantage.
  • Never taking immediate responsibility, rather, coming up with frequent excuses or further deflecting blame to others.

4. Do they steal or not appropriately share credit?

It may seem petty, but in the long run, when members of management take the credit in place of giving it general discontent could spark much bigger problems for your office as a whole. Have you ever noticed any of the following amidst your management team:

  • Conveying ideas without properly mentioning who it may have come from.
  • Shrugging off accusations as ‘accidental’ or as ‘unimportant’.
  • Frequently presenting material in which they may not have had the most instrumental role in putting together.

5. Do they frequently try to suck-up to upper management?

There is a fine line between being helpful and then just taking it way too far. No one really likes a suck-up, not when they’re just out to get something for themselves. There are those who genuinely care and enjoy being a part of things, and then there are those who, really, are just trying to manipulate you through their behavior and efforts. Watch out for these signs:

  • Frequently doing things without being asked, but expecting a reward.
  • Doing favors for people, but expecting to cash in on them later.
  • Faking interest or concern in topics which they have no genuine interest.

But wait! You don’t have to fire them!

If you have noticed some of the signs of bad management as listed above, don’t panic… and don’t fire your whole management team just yet! There are a few things that you can do to really improve the quality of the managers that you have now. But don’t let wasted time pass you by! Here are some things that you can do to improve the quality of your management staff now:

  • Training is the most powerful method at your disposal. The more that your staff knows and understands, the better they will be able to apply the policies and practices that you want them to have.
  • It helps to have very clear policies and expectations in place for how your management team is to act, react, and express themselves to other members of staff.
  • Keeping regular communication with staff both individually and as a team can greatly help you to identify the areas that you need to focus on improving.

Read more Management Training insights.


Trushar Mody is BUSINESS STRATEGIST, SOFT SKILLS TRAINER, OUTSIDE-THE-BOX THINKER AND THOUGHT PROVOKER. He is a Warehouse of knowledge and wants to share it. His passion lies in teaching  Wholestic Learning and Emotional Intelligence.

Trushar Mody is a role model who has extended himself to help others along their own journeys. He works from his passion of helping people live their lives with purpose and without fear. He is a managing partner and senior trainer at Encore Consulting Group.

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