Ten things you might be doing that’s giving you a “Bad Boss” reputation and 7 ways to turn it around

When we’re under pressure and things get tense, emotions run high.  We all experience it.  And, unless we’ve done some personal work, it literally becomes physiologically challenging, nearly impossible,  to manage our emotional response. Quite frankly, few of us know what to do and how to manage those fierce emotional reactions that drive us to say and do things that we later regret.  Unfortunately, the impact on others can be devastating.

In today’s world, managing ourselves appropriately seems like a no-brainer.  Right?  However, some simple behaviors actually lead to a “bad bossing” reputation and we’re not even aware of it.  Take a look at these top 10 traits that get in the way of being more successful as identified by the top ten coaches from FORBES Coaches Council:

  1. Inability to listen (what I think is more important that what you are saying).
  2. Close-mindedness (my way or the highway…there can’t be a better way…I am right).
  3. Tendency to control (or another way of saying it…micromanagement)
  4. Perfectionism (never enough, always a better way of doing it…leading to unrealistic expectations)
  5. Selfishness (my needs are greater than your needs…self-centered)
  6. Emotionally reactive (inability to manage one’s reactions to internal and external triggers)
  7. Inconsistency (this means unpredictability which means instability and therefore loss of credibility)
  8. Subjectivity (second-guessing,  lacking a factual basis or foundation to what’s going on, acting on intuition)
  9. Stubbornness (being positional…insistent that you’re way is the only way…see #2)
  10. Presumptiousness (making assumptions and we know what “assume” means, right?)

Becoming aware of the impact we have on others is a critical step in developing our emotional intelligence (EI).  As the saying goes…your IQ is what gets you hired but it’s your EQ that gets you higher!  What next steps can you take to improve your EQ as well as maximize your leadership potential?  Followers will follow their leaders when they feel valued and made to feel the center of the organization…that their perspective and input is important to making important decisions (Warren Benis).  True leadership is earned, and it is earned by having a positive impact – a lasting, influential impact on those around you.  Leaders who succeed, not fail, in influencing their followers embrace the following key characteristics:

  1. Lead with character
  2. Cultivate strong relationships
  3. Steer with competence
  4. Trust others’ intuition
  5. Focus on others’ experience
  6. Take pride in others’ potential
  7. Inspire to motivate

So, how do you achieve this?  Sounds simple but not always easy to translate into action…action that means and makes a difference.

This is where  training and coaching come into play.  Take action now!  Letting problem behavior continue will only cost you and your organization more dollars, lost employees, and reduced morale for those who stay behind.

Keep in mind, great leaders are capable of embracing these seven steps to truly affect people positively in ways to positively influence…not negatively derail people from their personal best.

NOTE:  This writing has evolved from Dr. Debra Dupree’s 2014 doctoral dissertation on “The Psychology of Good Bosses vs. Bad Bosses” leading to the development of her proprietary program on “Breakthroughs to Unbelievable Leadership” which is a training and coaching model available to organizations over a 10-week timeline.