20 Signs you have a Bad Boss – And what to do about it

Introduction

Having another bad day at the office? Feeling angry or frustrated every time you talk to your boss? You’re not the only one. In a global survey by a famous job site,  as many as 35 percent of employees say they have a “horrible boss.” Only 15 percent are very satisfied with their direct supervisor. A ridiculously low percentage but close to the truth.bad bosses

A bad boss not only endangers your career, but also has a bad impact on your personal life. Whereas a good manager brings out the best in you and has a positive effect on all aspects of your life. It’s important to know if you have a bad boss so that you can “take steps to handle the stress and get over it”.

Here are 20 signs that your have a bad boss who is ultimately getting in the way of your happiness. Plus the steps you can take to counter that before quitting your job. I have written in the he – form but it also applies to women.

Sick and tired of bad bosses? Read the end for the most popular solution. Your way out!

1 He cannot be trusted

A boss who makes too many promises and then does not keep them is someone who clearly has an issue. Maybe you were promised a promotion, a better working environment or a pay rise. But after that you didn’t hear anything. Take a deep breath, think about this, explore your notes (I hope you took them) and then prepare for a meeting with your supervisor. Ensure that you keep things businesslike and not get emotional.

I know this might sound like some challenge to you, but believe me, it is better to find out then let this fester about for a long time. Thinking that matters will change sometime, usually won’t come true.

2 He is a Pinocchio

when boss liesA boss who lies cannot be trusted, and that is not exactly a good basis for a productive working relationship. Remember this, some people are so full of themselves that they are convinced that the lie is true. They reason this kind of behavior by thinking and saying that others also exhibit these traits.  

Still other bosses just don’t want to pay for the consequences of telling the truth. Try to figure out what makes your boss choose to lie. Make sure you have all the facts in order before you start asking questions. And remember, it’s always better to be honest than to attack or use sarcasm. 

3 He is always right (or so he believes)

Learning to recognize that you are sometimes wrong is one of the best things you can do for your colleagues. If your boss refuses to admit he’s wrong, it means he doesn’t want to step out of his own comfort zone for you. 91 percent of employees say one thing is very important when taking  action: whether a manager takes responsibility for his mistakes.

To be able to acknowledging mistakes shows employees that you are in a safe environment where you can take risks and make mistakes. Without this you will never get ahead.

4 He wants to know every detail

Is your boss so minute and ever present that you hardly get anything done? This can be a real pain in the ass, so try to boss is micromanageraddress it quickly. 

In my own career I have encountered such a boss myself and he indeed asked for reporting, reporting and reporting. So I started informing him on every detail and it worked. In this way, your boss thinks he is on top of everything and then will leave you alone. Far from ideal, I know, but it works better than antagonizing him.

5 He is quick to accuse you, but never thankful 

This kind of boss clearly has an issue with complimenting his staff, but do not get me wrong. If somebody does the wrong thing, then the boss needs to correct them. On the other hand, when somebody does a very good job, why not let them know it is appreciated? Everybody, and I mean really everybody, is in need of compliments. You can read here what to do in case of this situation.

6 He assumes you are like him

Most people like to surround themselves with similar characters, but a good boss knows that different personalities can make a team stronger. If your boss is constantly comparing you to others who are like him, pick up the good things and thank him for the rest. Stay true to who you are, but also show that you appreciate the advice of your boss.

7 He always calls in your free time

boss calls in freetimeYou put in long hours into your work and get permission to take a long weekend off. Still, your boss calls you during that weekend, in which case it is best to indicate your limits immediately. Company phone? Do not complain too much.

It’s best to reassure a demanding boss, just like you would with a toddler of two – whether you’re planning to leave for the day, go home early, get to the office late, or take a vacation. Warn your boss in time and explain that everything is under control.

8 He uses favoritism

Favoritism is one of the worst (=devastating) treats a boss can have.  These types of bosses don’t see that they are treating you unfairly and do not see the severe consequences. No matter how hard you work or what results you get, somebody else will get the attention or even the benefits.

I have dedicated a separate section to this very bad behavior and how to act on it here.

9 He does not want to hear your point of view

Stubborn bosses are just as commonplace as file cabinets. But there is a fine line between entering into the discussion and appearing rebellious. If there is something to gain for your boss, you have the best chance that he will change his behavior.

Resist the temptation to argue about the same things over and over. Find a compromise and gather evidence for your point of view if you really can’t let go. Don’t throw in everything to win a fight, or you might lose the war. 

10 He is addicted to the spot lights

Does your boss use the word “I” all the time when it comes to success? Doesn’t he invite you to meetings so you canboss wants attention present your own work? Then it may be that he deliberately keeps you out of the spotlight.

Territorial drive, like in a dog, is in the DNA of a bad boss. They take the credit for your hard work. Your best option is to rise above that and understand the root cause of the problem. Granted, this will not be easy.

11 The feedback he gives is not useful

Do you feel that you can’t do anything with the feedback from your boss? Is it so vague that it’s not useful at all? Your boss may not know what to say to you, which makes him unsuitable for the job. Or he doesn’t want to tell you anything useful in order to protect himself. This might be of detriment to the company.

Your boss may be withholding information to gain an advantage. This person is not a team player. It is up to you to determine whether your career will be compromised if you raise this with your boss. Or that you can continue to grow by asking for feedback from other seniors in the team.

12 He spreads rumors and gossip

When your manager spreads rumors or gossip about the team, it shows little respect. And it is completely unprofessional.

Your terrible boss may want to include you, but you’re better off keeping your diplomacy out of the conversation. Otherwise you run the risk of being excluded yourself if there is more gossip. Try to narrow the conversation down to something work-related. 

13 He teases you or worse, flirts

boss talks behind your backJokes made behind your your back can upset you. Bad bosses don’t see that. Due to a lack of emotional intelligence, they can’t tell the difference between humor and insulting. Just as inappropriate, if not worse, are bosses who cross a line and flirt with you. It may not count as sexual harassment (if it does, ring the bell), but the unsolicited comments can be just as uncomfortable.

If the comments are mostly nice and make sense, great. If it is more than that, then it is time to slow down and address them privately.

14 He constantly changes his mind

Does this sound recognizable? One day they tell you something and the next it is completely different again.

Choose the option that benefits you the most and pursue it. Make sure you are not too dependent on him and do not ask for permission anymore. Rather, tell him about your intentions. If he has problems with one of your choices, he will really let you know. 

15 You get no chance at a career

Few things are more demotivating than doing the same work for long periods of time, with the same responsibilities. Especially when you are ambitious.

If you feel like you’re not being seen, show your worth and present new ideas to your boss. Be creative. If your boss is okay with it, suggest that you help another team with your skills. That way you gain more knowledge.

16 He is not communicatingboss not communicating

One of the most frustrating things about a bad boss is that he rarely communicates with you. Most employees would rather get direct criticism from a manager than have a nice manager who talks behind their backs.

They are simply not attentive, which is also a problem. If your boss has the attention span of a goldfish, it’s not very motivating. It seems like you are doing it all for yourself. In that case, watch how others get your manager’s attention. 

17 He always talks about his future, not yours

Do you have a lot of discussions and conversations with your manager, but rarely about your future? A good boss regularly discusses what long-term opportunities there are for you within the company.

They don’t just look at how you are performing now. Smart bosses discuss these things on a regular basis, instead of resorting to panic football if you are offered another job.

18 He only thinks about himself

Does your boss really think the world revolves around him? Some bosses immediately start talking about themselves: what they went through, their last score in golf, a conversation they had. You get to what you want to discuss more quickly by saying,” That’s interesting, it reminds me of the task you gave me yesterday. ” Then you keep talking until you have told your story.

19 Your work is never appreciated

feeling unappreciatedIt is half past eight and your inbox is already crashing at the seams due to all the assignments from your boss. You can work 10 hours a day but your boss is still dissatisfied. Your manager must realize that you don’t have all the time in the world and you can’t do everything at once.

You will need to address this with him, otherwise he will keep doing this.

20 Projects suddenly are given to your colleague

You got the project of the year on Friday, but on Monday it suddenly appears that a colleague has been put in charge. It feels like the carpet tiles have disappeared from under your desk. In this situation you are certainly entitled to an explanation. 

Raise this up in a one-on-one conversation. Be business like, without becoming emotional. No need to ask him why you were not told. Instead, tell him that you would like to get the most out of yourself and were really looking forward to managing this project. Can you inform me why the plans have changed? 

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2 thoughts on “20 Signs you have a Bad Boss – And what to do about it”

  1. Well, I do agree to this list though. A bad boss can really never be trusted. He will just keep on finding ways to deceive you and make you work underpaid. I hope they will learn that their employees are people too who have feelings. Well, at the end of the day it’s all about finding the right boss.

    Reply
    • Which is not going to be easy. It has been indicated that only about 10 percent of bosses are really good and as stated above, some 15% op employees are ok with their bosses. This is a horrible situation, why do we need bosses anyway?

      Reply

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