Characteristics of a Bad Boss Term Paper

Pages: 20 (5042 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Careers

¶ … Bad Boss

My Boss... "

Ten Measures of an Effective Boss

Traits of "Good Bosses" and "Bad Bosses"


You're fired!'

No other words can so easily and succinctly reduce a confident, self-assured executive to an insecure, groveling shred of his former self."

Louchheim, (1984 (1988).

My Boss

"My boss is a... jerk! Bosses beware, your employees will notice even the smallest things," Myke Folger (2003) warns bosses they are being watched. Folger (2003) relates the experience of one twenty-something aeronautical mechanic, employed in a secure job with benefits, airplane repair. When the company began laying off employees shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, this mechanic, although regarded to be a good mechanic, was not part of the boss' "buddy system." Consequently, he lost his job. "It came down to whoever bought the superintendent more beer got the better jobs," the former employee contends. "That's pretty much how the layoffs went, too." Favoritism, as mirrored in this mechanic's experience, counters professionalism and constitutes one qualification of a "bad boss."

Ten Measures of Effective Bosses

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In "How to be a better boss: 10 measures of effective managers and leaders," Madsen, (2005) states: "Incompetent bosses, poor managers, and lousy leaders are easy to identify when you work for one.... Employees know that they are respected, rewarded, and that work is more enjoyable and gratifying when their boss is at his/her best."

Traits of "Good Bosses" and "Bad Bosses"

The following list includes list of traits effective leaders, managers and bosses have perfected.

1. "A great boss is accessible and has an 'open-door' policy"(Madsen, 2005) a "good boss" is available for employees when they need help. A "bad boss" is not.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Characteristics of a Bad Boss Assignment

2. "A great boss develops healthy relationships with employees." (Madsen, 2005) a "good boss" will at times share personal information with employees to help them know him/her better. A "bad boss" either shares entirely too much information or none at all.

3. "A great boss customizes his/her approach for individuals." (Madsen, 2005)

"good boss" provides what an employee needs, when possible.

"bad boss" plays the favoritism game; frequently blocking people out of his life.

4. "A great boss recognizes accomplishments and issues praise regularly." (Madsen, 2005)

"good boss" makes a point to catch employees doing things right. A "bad boss" makes a point to catch employees doing things wrong and brings this to their attention.

5. "A great boss coaches employees and addresses under-performers." (Madsen, 2005) a good boss conducts regular reviews of his/her employees' performance. A bad boss sporadically reviews his/her employees 'performance. 6. "A great boss delegates work and trusts employees to use the skills/strengths they were hired for." (Madsen, 2005) a good boss permits employees to make decisions and to complete the jobs they were hired to do a bad boss micromanages his/her employees or does not perform any management duties at all.

7. "A great boss is a great communicator (and listener)." (Madsen, 2005) a good boss succinctly communicates goals to his employees. A bad boss provides a are directed as to his/her employees.

John P. Kotter, author of Leading Change, recommends that a good boss"

Keep it simple (avoid jargon).

Use metaphors, analogies, and examples.

Communicate in multiple forums (i.e. memos, meetings, informal interactions, etc.)

Be repetitive.

Back up your statements with actions.

Address any inconsistencies.

Encourage two-way communication. (Madsen, 2005)

8. "A great boss has vision and the ability to rally individuals or teams." A good boss explains the organization's mission, goals and future plans. A bad boss does not explain any pertinent information about the company.

9. "A great boss leads by example." (Madsen, 2005) a good boss sets a good example, remembering that he is being constantly watched and monitored.

A bad boss does what he wants to, as we;; as when he wants to - no matter how this might affect someone else.

10. "A great boss is ethical." Madsen, 2005) a good boss understands the difference between right and wrong, and strives to be a better boss / a bad boss sometimes seems to "forget" the difference between right and wrong.

In another scenario, a twenty-something female, studying to become a schoolteacher, worked at a large daycare facility in the city. (Folger, 2003)

She chose to work at the day care facility to earn extra income, as this position simultaneously allowed her to the work with children. She too countered a negative experience related to favoritism in the workplace. Several employees regularly took extra long breaks, but never received any reprimands, particularly if the break buster was close to the director. Although this was in a sense, a minor issue, as it was not ever countered, it expanded into a problem issue for this is an incidental other employees. Bringing concerns to the director, however, would have likely triggered more problems; so instead, this woman wrote a note expressing her concerns about the abuse of break times. She also related positive ideas parents had shared with her and placed them in the suggestion box.. (Folger, 2003)

As time passed, nothing was done. When this worker shared her concerns with the director, the director advised this worker that nothing could be done as the owner, who made the decisions, rarely visited the daycare. If the director had initiated some sort of solution to this worker's concerns, acknowledged parents' ideas, however adhered to the employee handbook's rules, this employee, more than likely would not have sought another job. When a boss closes his/her eyes to even small offenses, in time they may escalate to critical proportions. A boss who intentionally closes his/her eyes, Folger (2003) stresses, is not going to see things that may be blatantly wrong. Another male who worked for a local maintenance firm stated he likes his job, however, one thing constitutes a problem for him - one boss. This particular policy would state he had a lot of work to do, nevertheless when this employee walked into his office, we would see this boss treating sleeping. Although these scenarios they appear insignificant in a sense they confirm the point Folger (2003) argues: bosses are being watched. Jean-Louis Barsoux (2005), author of "How bosses reveal their attitudes towards employees: can you tell if your boss really has faith in your ability to solve problems and manage your operation? If you think you can, chances are that the people reporting to you can also read your behavior. Your low expectations may have more impact on them than you think," reports that research with thousands of executives from various parts of the world contend that bosses' behaviors prove to be basically universal. Barsoux (2005) also purports, as Folger (2003), that employees notice what bosses and can see through a mask he/she may wear. Barsoux (2005) facetiously refers to recent Pygmalion studies; in which new supervisors are told one group, of employees assigned to them, possess more potential than the other. The supervisor's negative expectations regarding the "better" group's capabilities "produce real performance differences over time, suggesting that employees tend to adjust up or down to the expectations of their superiors" Additional research related to self-efficacy indicates that when a person's confidence is undermined, he/she experiences decreased perseverance when countering challenging problems, as well as in recovery from set-backs. This research complements work completed by Barsoux (2005) which reveals that "employees who feel under-rated or less appreciated by their boss typically end up responding in one of two ways:

Disconnecting from the boss: This typically follows unpleasant exchanges between a boss and an employee. One disconnected employee states: "I used to initiate much more contact with my boss until the only thing I received was negative feedback; then I started shying away." (Barsoux, 2005)

Disconnecting from the job: When employees are treated as weaker performers, they may intellectually withdraw from their duties, along with experience a loss of passion for their work, enthusiasm or initiative. One interviewee, Barsoux (2005) notes, feels like a robot as her boss tells her how to execute every minute detail.

What about a boss' leadership style influences some subordinates to feel "less equal' than other employees and/or conveys low expectations? notes a question Barsoux's (2005) work purports. Bosses, albeit "good or bad," frequently send comparative signals to subordinates, who are clearly highly sensitive. The following, albeit, represent some negative signals "a bad boss," might send:

The urge to advise: A "bad boss" verbalizes unsolicited suggestions; negating to ask the subordinate what he/she has already tried or plans to do.

The offer you can't refuse: A "bad boss" tends to propose instructions too aggressively.

The disregarded idea: A "bad boss" solicits employees' input, but then does not follow through with responding to or acting on employees' input.

The trick question: A "bad boss" will sometimes ask questions for which they already know the answer, just to test subordinates' understanding.

The asymmetry of a feedback: A "bad boss" and primarily focuses on the negatives.

Presumption of guilt: A "bad boss" utilizes tones, which resembled… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Characteristics of a Bad Boss.  (2007, May 3).  Retrieved September 24, 2021, from

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"Characteristics of a Bad Boss."  May 3, 2007.  Accessed September 24, 2021.