Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

5 Reasons Your Team Thinks You’re a Bad Boss

ARCHIVES
JrCasas/Shutterstock.com

No matter how great you are as a boss, the odds are against you that your team holds the same opinion.

According to recent studies, 31 percent of employees say they don’t like their boss, 65 percent of executives would rather have a new boss than a raise, and the majority of people would trust a stranger over their boss.

No one sets out to be a bad boss. We’re just messy human beings doing the best we can. Of course with these odds, most of us are dealing with a difficult boss, too. That kind of stress flows downhill. Here are five behaviors to watch out for:

1. You kiss up and stomp down. You drop everything to support your boss. You treat her with deep respect and move mountains to accomplish whatever she asks. The problem is, all that responsive urgency leaves your team spinning, stressed and overworked.

How to fix it: Treat your team with the same level of respect you give your boss. Be just as professional and polite. Consider the impact before making commitments. Check in frequently on workload and discuss priorities.

2. You care more about your career than theirs. Nothing’s more aggravating than a boss who thinks it’s all about them. Don’t be the guy who puts your career above all else.

How to fix it: Take time to understand your employees’ career aspirations and invest deeply in each person. Develop a deep bench and cross-train so you don’t feel the urge to hold onto your MVPs. Set goals for how many people you want to get promoted each year. Take those targets as seriously as your other key performance indicators.

3. You waste their time. It’s audacious to think your time is more valuable than your team's. Fuzzy vision causes rework and disorganized meetings have huge opportunity costs.

How to fix it: Don’t make them wait or hold stupid meetings. Keep lists for each person on your team, and bring them several items at once, rather than distracting them each time you have a new task. Ask your team for feedback on how you can save them time.

4. You ignore their input. Your employees are one step closer to the customer than you are. They’ve got big ideas and want to share them. Jerky bosses think they know better.

How to fix it: If you’re not going to listen to their input, don’t ask. If you want respect, respect their ideas. Slow down enough to be persuaded. Teach your team how to sell you their ideas (see the P.E.R.S.U.A.D.E. model).

5. You’re moody. Stress is contagious, particularly when the boss is the carrier. Understand your moods and work to release them somewhere other than on your team. Real leaders stay collected even during the most exciting times.

How to fix it: Notice your patterns and what sets you off. Find other ways to release your stress (mediation, yoga, exercise, prayer). Encourage your team to give you a sign when the intensities too much.

Most importantly, make it easy for your team to talk with you about how you make them feel. Many employees save their discretionary effort for people they respect.

Karin Hurt is a speaker, writer and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders. She is the author of Overcoming an Imperfect Boss.

(Image via JrCasas/Shutterstock.com)

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.