In many organizations, bad managers are rampant. A bad manager can be defined as someone who works solely based on their own emotions and has great problems with employees who often need a more logical, unemotional, and objective leader. They come in all shapes and sizes. These bad traits can be corrected through the proper and consistent application of management skills. Sometimes these bad traits are signs that can help us learn where we are on the path, and change course if we need too. You’ll find that most bad managers have the following character traits.
Poor Listening Skills and Observation
Whether it’s for lack of time or that they believe they know it all, bad managers are terrible listeners and observers. They assume that they have enough information to make good decisions and charge ahead without consideration of the unknown. But nothing is ever as it seems, and taking things at face value is usually a critical mistake. It’s important to discover, and uncover, by listening to what others have to say (which often requires probing questions), and to be acutely aware of the actions and interactions taking place in the world around us.
Lack of Understanding
Empathy is the ability to see something from another person’s point of view. It takes humility and confidence to look through another’s eyes – two things that bad managers lack. But without understanding, there can be no growth, only the imposition of management’s will.
They Don’t Act – They React
Perceiving that something will be needed is a lot different than realizing it was needed after the fact. Good managers anticipate and act preemptively, addressing issues before they arise, which is both effective and efficient. Bad managers are unable, or refuse to see the signs and allow issues to reach the critical point before they address them. Dealing with issues after the fact takes time and energy, and it communicates a lack of control which can, in turn, reduce confidence in the manager by those who are impacted.
Failure to Delegate
Good managers empower others to use their strengths for the good of the organization. Bad managers assume they are the only one capable of doing things right. The result is that they micro-manage, forcing others to function in ways that are not native, natural, or productive. This also ends up consuming large amounts of the manager’s own time.
Lack of Thoughtful Praise and Recognition
If bad managers give praise at all it is usually forced, insincere, or inaccurate. People know when they’re being patronized. It’s not enough just to recognize someone – the recognition has to be thoughtful and given in a way that shows the genuine appreciation of the giver. When done correctly it motivates and builds confidence. When done poorly, it fosters resentment and dissension.
If you find yourself committing any of these mistakes, take a moment to examine your motivations. It may be that you’re not allowing yourself enough time to pay attention. It’s surprising how simply identifying a deficit and becoming conscious of it as it occurs can correct the situation. Management training is a useful tool for remedying these shortcomings. With effective management methods and techniques you can be a better manager.
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Bad managers written by: alexmount edited by: lukensurge