The Self-Awareness Guy

bad boss

20 Ways to Tell If Your Employees Hate You

20 Ways to Tell If Your Employees Hate You


Are you a leader who doesn't care whether your employees like you? Do you lead fearlessly but without any input or genuine support from your staff? Traditionally, we've been told that leaders are present to make sure things run well and to tell people what to do. Ever since we found out that people actually matter and that they're not machines there has been a concerted move by leaders worldwide to treat their employees well and help them be happier in the workplace. Yet this concept of leading in a way that actually benefits employees and helps everyone feel better is still elusive for those who remain stuck in the bossing-people-around worldview. Here are twenty ways to tell if your employees hate you.

  1. Everyone is fake nice to you.
  2. You can't get better performance from employees regardless of what you say or do.
  3. You only relate to a few people (or no one) on your staff.
  4. People talk behind your back but have trouble talking with you.
  5. There is low morale and motivation in your organization.
  6. Employees don't share information with you.
  7. People have told you they don't like you or you make them uncomfortable.
  8. You have frequent and/or ongoing conflicts with employees.
  9. High employee turnover or absenteeism.
  10. Low productivity and stagnant growth in skill level of your employees.
  11. You're not invited to outside work functions.
  12. You're not invited to functions at work.
  13. People look scared, overly serious or annoyed when you're around.
  14. You micromanage a lot and don't trust your employees to work independently.
  15. Nobody but you tells you what a good boss you are.
  16. HR keeps mentioning employee complaints about you.
  17. You keep justifying to your employees why you're so hard on them.
  18. You don't worry that you're doing anything wrong leadership-wise.
  19. You think of your employees as whiners or soft.
  20. You don't ask employees for ideas.

If you practice any of these behaviors you aren't some kind of evil person, it's just an opportunity to fine-tune your skills to get closer to your employees. Leadership is often much more about the atmosphere you create at work rather than all the tasks you complete. There are many very productive and driving leaders who have employees who only work for them because they have no other option. The positive news is that you can turn around this type of workplace dynamic by making small adjustments to your leadership approach such as listening more to your employees and giving them more autonomy. What will you do so your employees really like you?

Cheers,
Guy

10 Ways to Stop Bossing People around at Work

10 Ways to Stop Bossing People around at Work

I train leaders and organizations to encourage leadership that moves beyond bossing people around. The standard model of leadership is putting someone in charge who rules above everyone and issues directives.  Our leaders tend to be people who mean well, do a lot of stuff and constantly tell people what to do.  Add to that, high levels of energy and activity which is supposed to “motivate” employees.  This leadership approach creates workplaces where employees wait for the next directive, seldom growing, rarely motivated and barely engaged.

So what can you do to promote more inspirational leadership and move beyond directing?  Here are some practical ideas to help you get started:

1. Talk with your employees, ask them what they like doing and let them do it without your "help."

2. Create jobs that use people’s interests and talents.

3. Praise your employees regularly for their great work.

4. Allow people to set their own goals and determine how they will achieve them and by when.

5. Listen to your employees instead of talking over them.

6. Trust that your employees can do their jobs and think independently without your supervision.

7. Be available to provide support only if your employees ask you to do so.

8. Start encouraging your employees to act independently instead of bossing them around.

9. Provide opportunities for your employees to grow such as education or trying new things on the job.

10. Move away from a strict hierarchy of bosses and employees and shift to a more collegial atmosphere.

Try these key ideas for a period of time until they become second nature.  You'll create a workplace where you don't have to direct as much because your employees will be doing more work of their own accord.  You’ll benefit from a happier workplace, free from the pressures of constantly micromanaging and directing.  You'll also enjoy being able to do more by bossing less and you're employees will be grateful that you treat them like adults.  What will you do to boss less and lead more?

Cheers,
Guy

5 Tips to Stop Micromanaging and Be a Better Leader

5 Tips to Stop Micromanaging and Be a Better Leader

Do you allow your employees do their jobs independently or are you compelled to supervise everything they do? Have you ever heard someone say, "If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself," and agreed with them? Many thoughtful, experienced leaders genuinely believe that they must have to be involved in everything their employees do or it won't go well. We are conditioned from an early age and through much of our work experience to believe that people can't do things for themselves and that only we have the secret to doing things the right way.

This belief system leads to micromanaging, the act of needing to control task your employee is working on whether it's helpful, productive, appropriate, or not. At its most elemental level, micromanaging is the inability to let other people do their jobs. Why do so many leaders do this? Often it is simply because they don't have any other management tools.

There's nothing misguided or awful about micromanaging and it doesn't mean we're bad leaders if we practice it, there are just much more productive strategies to get results in the workplace. When leaders micromanage they promote workplaces that discourage independent thought, decision-making and action and emphasize dependence on the direction giver. Employees can be stopped in their tracks in an environment like this because they are not allowed or encouraged to do anything on their own. You can interrupt the cycle of micromanaging by doing some of the following practical things :

1. Encourage people to do their own work. Get out of the way and let your employees do their jobs without your supervision. This will build their independence and ability to think on their own. When you make it possible for people to work independently, it shows them that you really trust them and value their talents and contributions.

2. Give your employees the chance to demonstrate what they do well. When you understand what your employees do well, you are able to use their gifts to benefit the organization and make your life as a leader more enjoyable. Employees feel valued and important when they use their talents to move the organization forward.

3. Help people and provide your input only when requested. Many leaders feel they have to constantly impart their wisdom or share their expertise. This negates the fact that employees often know how to do things for themselves and don't need your help. Make yourself available and create a real open-door policy where people can bounce things off of you. Otherwise focus on your own job tasks.

4. Look at why you choose to micromanage. We all benefit from understanding the things that behaviors that help us and the ones we might shift a bit to be more effective. Micromanaging is frequently a symptom of an deep inner need to control situations coupled with anxiety when things feel out of control to us. Work on your own issues and you'll be less likely to impose them on others.

5. Believe in a micromanagement free workplace. What might you achieve if you weren't devoting so much time to worrying about what your employees are doing and constantly monitoring them? How might you refocus your energy on other pursuits that would benefit the organization?

Somewhere along the way, some leadership guru said that we have to be a "hands on" leader our organization will crumble. This philosophy does not allow employees to grow or enjoy the learning that comes from achieving things themselves. Genuine growth occurs when employees are encouraged to make decisions and learn from their experiences. As a leader, you get to decide how you lead which, in turn, affects how your workplace functions. Will you constantly micromanage your employees or will you set a leadership example that inspires them?

Cheers,
Guy

30 Bad Boss Characteristics

30 Bad Boss Characteristics

Here are thirty bad boss characteristics:

  1. They're always right.
  2. They're resistant to change.
  3. They lack emotional intelligence and self-awareness.
  4. They hurt others.
  5. They don't listen.
  6. Everything is about them.
  7. They put people down.
  8. They pit people against each other.
  9. They don't praise.
  10. They lie about or rationalize their behaviors.
  11. They rule from fear instead of kindness.
  12. They dominate meetings.
  13. They lead by telling people what to do instead of having them motivate themselves.
  14. They micromanage.
  15. They try to eliminate people they think are a threat.
  16. They love punishing people.
  17. They don't believe in being touch-feely.
  18. They say stuff like, "We've always done it this way."
  19. They create conflict wherever they go.
  20. They can't work as part of a team.
  21. They're very competitive.
  22. They make jokes at people's expense.
  23. They have unpleasant personalities.
  24. They make their staff feel uncomfortable or miserable.
  25. They lack empathy.
  26. They only look at the bottom line, people don't matter.
  27. They're inflexible.
  28. They're moody.
  29. They brag about being a good boss.
  30. There's high turnover in their department or the company.

Self-aware bosses will look at this list and be able to make adjustments so they aren't hurting others. The ones who don't understand what they're doing aren't a lost cause, it's always possible to build up their skills to move toward being positive bosses. To create enlightened, effective leaders we simply need to have the training in place to teach them how to be able to work out their own personal issues so they can interact effectively with others and be good bosses.

Cheers,

Guy

The Worst Leadership Style in the World

The Worst Leadership Style in the World

There are a lot of bad leadership styles that wreak havoc in workplaces around the world, but the worst is:

The Tyrant

This awful leadership style is practiced by people who feel powerless inside, usually because of things they endured in their own families, and then feel they have to take it out on their employees. The Tyrant marches around giving orders, demanding complete obedience, and getting really angry when things don't go his or her way. They are not open to suggestions and only really care about bossing people around no matter how miserable it makes everyone. Their only concern is the bottom line, people don't matter and human emotions are a foreign concept. Tyrants don't listen and don't care what their employees have to say, they just care about looking "strong" and in command.

The Tyrant lacks empathy and has no idea what the consequences of his actions are. Strangely enough, even though we instinctively know that tyranny is not a positive thing, most workplaces are run by people like this or some variation thereof. We've somehow convinced ourselves that the best leadership model is where some "strong" person walks around barking orders and punishing people if they don't follow them. The common variation on this theme is the person that does these things but smiles once in a while.

We can do better than this, here's how:

  • Encourage leaders to become self-aware and emotionally intelligent, to understand why they feel, think, and act the way they do.
  • Have leaders work through their own personal issues before trying to lead others.
  • Provide training that builds empathy and compassion.
  • Teach leaders how to motivate people from within.
  • Promote workplaces where people come first instead of the bottom line.
  • Teach kind leadership, which means leaders who are able to motivate their employees through kindness instead of fear and control.
  • Commit to building workplaces where people are nice to one another.

None of these things is unachievable, it's just that we've designed our workplaces to revolve around some hurt person giving orders when there are a lot of much more positive things we can do instead. Contrary to popular belief, you can get a lot done without treating people poorly. What are your suggestions for getting rid of tyrants?

Cheers,

Guy