How to Tell if your Boss hates you? – 12 Giveaways

Introduction 

If you feel that your boss hates you, it could be a figment of your imagination. People sometimes feel intimidated by authority, especially when they are just maybe your boss hates youstarting their first job or changed to a new job. But what if it is really true and you want to find out for sure? This is not always easy. If he doesn’t treat you like everyone else, you’re not likely to be his favorite employee, but does it mean that he hates you? So trust your senses and look for further signs that your boss does hate you. Here are some symptoms that can really show that your boss hates you. I will also give you possible solutions and will conclude with my number 1 recommendation.

1. He makes decisions without you being in the know

When the boss does not involve you in the decision-making process related to your job, the reason may be that your boss does not trust your opinion. Mind you, if this only happened once, this could be an omission on his part. However, if this is a repeating pattern, then watch out.

2. He doesn’t keep eye contact with you

If the boss wants to tell you something bad, he may not have long eye contactboss does not talk eye-to-eye with you. He will fear that you will be able to determine the anger in his eyes so he chooses the path of least resistance. He might be studying a document in front of him or go and pour some coffee for himself as a distraction (but keeps talking). A sure sign something is amiss.

3. He doesn’t smile to you at all

I am not talking about a random bad day or mood, but over a longer period of time. If your boss makes a deliberate attempt not to smile at you, then something is badly wrong.

4. He is avoiding to meet you

If you notice your boss walking down the stairs just as you wait for the elevator, and he does this on a regular basis, this can be a serious sign that he is avoiding you. If  your boss doesn’t greet you when you come to work, and doesn’t say goodbye to you when you leave, it can prove he doesn’t like you. True, bosses usually have a busy schedule and they might be under pressure a lot, but if this often happens, there could be something wrong.

5. He is very curt with you

boss is very curtIf you ask, “How are you?” And your boss always responds “OK” or “Good”, and if his email always contains only brief comments on the matter and never starts with a friendly welcome, it could mean he does not like you very much. It also might be in the body language. Whether you see subtle rolling eyes, a permanent crossing arms across his chest, body language will always show the true attitude of your boss to you.

 

6. He avoids having personal conversations

 

If your boss doesn’t like you, he tends to try to limit personal conversations between the two of you. Noticing a shift to electronic communication can be a sign as well. In these circumstances his office door might always be closed for you. 

7. He tends not to agree with you

 

Have you noticed that  your boss rejects your every suggestion and mostly does not agree agree with whatever you say? At the same time you also notice that he doesn’t do the same thing to others? Well, that’s a significant sign that he might secretly hate you.

8. He speaks to others differently

If you notice that your boss is having a conversation with other employees boss treats you differentlyabout their children or hobbies, but he never raises such topics in a conversation with you, he may simply not be interested in hearing about your personal life. Friendly jokes with his staff – this is a sign that you are part of the team. So if your boss never feels comfortable enough to include you into inside jokes, then you’re unlikely to receive their and his respect.
If your boss seems disinterested, when you talk to him, and breaks down quickly as your conversation lengthens, it may be a sign that he doesn’t like you.

9. He gives your project to someone else

Monday morning you come to work and find that a big project that you had been working on all Friday has been handed to another employee. Volatile bosses often redistribute projects, despite doing more harm than good. But if you see that it happens often, and only with you, then it can be a negative move by the boss, against you.

10. He never gives you feedback on your work

A boss, who wants to help you grow, will always tell you their opinion on your boss gives no feedbackwork done. It is absolutely mandatory in maintaining a good working atmosphere. But the absence of his feedback, both positive and negative, shows complete indifference to the results of your efforts and your potential for growth in the company.
Some bosses just deal with the people however they want. But if your boss really dislikes you, then he will feel a real aversion to acknowledge your accomplishments.

11. He micro-manages you

The boss can go on to micro-manage you for a variety of reasons: a lack of confidence in your actions or the desire to gain control at all levels. But it could also mean he doesn’t trust you. In some cases, it may even go beyond the limit allowed when your boss begins to control each step in detail so that it looks like a pursuit. I have described in detail what you can do about micro-management in a previous article, which can be accessed by clicking here.

12. He reprimands or humiliates you in public

Open criticism of your efforts and ideas at the meeting – a sign of boss humiliates you in publicdisrespect. Your boss might just give you the dirty jobs, far below your level of competence and experience. If your boss really lowers himself to this public humiliation, it means he probably hates you. In all probability it means he doesn’t trust you, doesn’t believe in your ability, and maybe even actively wants you to look for a new job.

Have you been in one or more of these situations? Please share your experiences in the comment box below.

So, what to do about it?

And I mean something should be done about each of these giveaways whenever they occur. No need to let them fester. Looking at signs number 1-8, although really quite annoying, the best way is to confront your boss. Ask for an interview, prepare yourself, set an agenda and be businesslike about it. The last thing you want to do is getting angry or lose your temper. Think about the outcome you want, steer the direction of the discussion in that way, but be prepared for non-responsiveness as well. I grant you that many times, a misunderstanding is the basis for any animosity and you sure want that out of the way. 

Then if you can live with the outcome, fully accept it and move on. If you cannot, then tell your boss you will see other people (his boss, HR or a neutral outside consultant). Be aware that this road can be tricky and lead to your ultimate dismissal or quitting.

What to do about serious trouble?

If you are in the unfortunate situations as described under points 9-12, takes away your work, gives no feedback, micro-manages you and humiliates you, then this a whole different ball game. Although a good conversation as above should always be attempted in order to smooth the path or find misunderstandings, it seems to me that things have already gone too far. Especially, since you seem to be the only victim here. This very much points to divide and conquer tactics from your boss and I have written down what can be done in this case here.

you have to take some form of actionI have seen people getting into contact with HR, higher management and outside sources, even going to court, but the results, even if you would win, are not in favor of the employee. The working relationships would in all probability be disturbed to such an extent that reconciliation will not be possible anymore. In other words you might as well look at other avenues, such as finding another job or always have, during a job, a back-up option. My recommendation number 1 is this fall back opportunity: becoming your own boss!

Recommendation # 1

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No Money for extra Salary, but Shareholders experience Wealth maximization

Introduction

Stock exchange listed companies such as Shell and Unilever are flush with money and are buying up their own shares. That is beneficial for the shareholders. Employees grudgingly see, however, that there is no money for more wages.

shareholders get paid, employees do notShell, IBM, Unilever, Walt Disney, JP Morgan Chase, Chevron and Apple. It is only a small selection from the list of listed companies that purchased their own shares. And not in small numbers. For example, Shell bought EUR 25 billion of its own shares. Unilever for 6 billion. Equity is also involved with other listed companies. In the US, more than $ 1,000 billion in own shares were purchased by companies last year. 

What is happening here? Read more and find out why you get no extra salary, but there is cash for the shareholders. And if you do not like this, find the perfect way out.

Why buy your own shares?

Making money for shareholders is really the American answer. Serving the interests of shareholders, says UK law. That means making as much profit as possible and distributing a large part of it to shareholders. This is different in many European countries. In the Netherlands, management must pay attention to the interests of all its stakeholders.

Stakeholders being those entities or persons holding a share or interest in a company that can affect or be affected by an organization’s actions, objectives and policies. Some examples of key stakeholders are creditors, buy your own sharesdirectors, employees, government (and its agencies), owners (shareholders), suppliers,unions, and the community from which the business draws its resources.

Shareholders are important, but not the most important. A shareholder (also stockholder) is an individual or institution, including a corporation,that legally owns one or more shares or stock in a public or private corporation. Shareholders may be referred to as members of a corporation. So, why the focus?

Buying shares is popular 

The reason is simple. Companies will generally have more money than they need and they want to return that to the shareholder. That is fine in itself. Cash must initially be used for investments and possible acquisitions. But that must be profitable. In addition, a company must maintain a buffer for bad times. And then the shareholder comes into the picture. After all, they invested in the company. But is it logical to only take care of them?

Giving money back

That period has now arrived. Some companies swim in money now that it has been doing well with the economy for a few years. They have so much that they can not invest it all anymore. And they do not want to throw away money by doing too expensive acquisitions. So the money goes back to the giving money backshareholder.

You can do that in two ways. You give a higher dividend or you buy your own shares. The company has to withhold taxes on dividends, so part of the profit will go to the tax authorities. For the purchase of own shares, there is generally no need to settle anything with the tax authorities. So, there you go, it is a tax issue and thus companies buy their own shares.

Increase in share earnings

The logic behind the purchase is that there are fewer shares left in the market. The profit therefore needs to be divided over fewer shares. The earnings per share will then increase and that is favorable for the share price and therefore the shareholder.

The fact that companies give the surplus cash to the shareholder is no more than logical. After all, they have made risk-bearing capital available to the company. They are rewarded for that. But again, why only them?

Criticism on this reasoning

Some people say this needs to change. They want staff to benefit also from the rising profits of companies by giving them a wage increase. They claim that companies make high profits thanks to the low wages of the staff. In the past twenty years, employees have received an ever smaller share of the cake. They want employees, who are stakeholders as well, to have a say in the distribution of profits. The shareholders take off with the money, the employees get a higher energy bill. That sounds not correct.

no bonus this year

Others doubt this approach and say:  Why do you have to pay employees more than market wages? Good employees who are decisive for success get a real salary increase, or they switch to the competition. They argue that companies invest more money in internal training. That is good for the company and for the employee. 

To my opinion this is beside the point as they did not talk about salary increase but a share of the profits that they have contributed to, like a 13th month, a bonus or similar.

More criticism

Criticism also applies to the purchase of own shares from a completely different angle. This could lead to capital destruction for the shareholder. In itself it is fine that excess cash goes back to the shareholder. But often, shareholder value is often destroyed with purchasing. 

That has to do with the timing. Companies buy shares when they have money left. And that is usually in times that things are going well. And if the company is doing well, the price is high, so the companies buy their own shares for a relatively large amount of money.

And they just issue shares if things go bad. This leads to hefty capital destruction. Here is an example. Experts point to the ING (Dutch bank) which bought five billion euro shares for 2008. When the credit crunch erupted, the company had to spend another 7.5 billion euros on new shares at a much lower price.

Another example

We thought we had learned something from this crisis, but the opposite is true. Companies do exactly the same as in the nineties and before the credit crisis. Experts recognize the criticism. Practice shows that companies buy shares at high prices and issue shares at low prices. That is why it is often better to pay more dividends. 

companies buying their own sharesKPN 
Dutch Telecom concern KPN bought 1 billion treasury shares between 2004 and 2011 for an amount of 10 billion euros in total. In 2013 it went bad with the telecom concern and the company had to raise three billion euros to improve the financial position. The share price was then so low that KPN had to issue 2.8 billion new shares. On balance, KPN issued 1.8 billion new shares. The company did not, however, earn any money, but it received 7 billion euros.
And KPN was no exception. Aegon, steel company Arcelor Mittal and publisher Reed Elsevier also had to issue new shares during the credit crisis, while in the previous years they paid top prices to buy back their own shares.

My conclusions

There are good reasons for companies to buy their own shares in order to help shareholders. In my opinion there are also good reasons to give employees their share, as they contributed to the well-being of the company. Yes, shareholders take some risk, but it is the hard work of employees that generates the money.

Buying your own shares may carry the risk of future down turns and the need for new capital, but at lower share prices.

I personally know a company that shares their profits with its employees in the form of several months bonuses, depending on the profits.

Do you work at a company that does this or does your management only care for shareholders? In case of the latter, do you want to get back at them by becoming your own boss?

If your answer is yes, then read about the best program available to become an affiliate marketer on the internet. And yes, you can also work from home. Read here my personal review of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

How to deal with Bullies at the Workplace in 7 steps

Introduction

It is a well-known feat that everyone of us can fall victim to bullying atdeal with bullies at workplace work. Nowadays, as many as 16% of employees are being harassed! In many cases by colleagues, but most often (64%) by managers, which unfortunately is no surprise. One example is that employees who return after a long illness are confronted with it, but mostly without a real reason. Another one is the person with a slight disability, who gets pestered. And there are many others. However, there is hope. You can fight back against bullying by learning how to deal with bullies at the work floor by following the 7 steps below and save yourself or a colleague from these low-life harassment types.

What drives bullies?

In order to fight harassment, it is important to know more about the psychology behind the phenomenon. A science that will surprise you. What a bully really moves for example, is important to know. It can have 2 causes in most cases: it has either to do with control or a threat. 

control drives bullies

Control. Bullies have an urge to keep other people under their control because things in their private life are not under their control. Psychologists call this sublimation. Like a person who is not in the private situation to give much love and care and compensates by becoming a nurse.

Threat. A bully can feel threatened by someone’s position, which can mean direct competition, or even by a strong character. He knows that he is not better or smarter than the other and tries to gloss that over by denigrating and bullying the other person. And that usually happens in a very ingenious way, because bullies are often the smarter, higher educated creatures who execute the bullying secretly and cunningly.

What is bullying about?

Bullying at work goes much further than teasing a colleague. The pester wants to obstruct and harm someone with his actions. Think of someone ignoring you, exaggerated gossip about you or humiliation and laughing at a colleague. In bullying there is always an unequal relationship. Hence bosses form the main aggressors. A person can not defend himself well and is therefore an excellent target for the bully. This person finds it hard to stand up for himself and does not know how to defend himself effectively. He (or she) is not as strong as the other verbally or has less self-confidence. bullying is stressful

Being bullied at work is very stressful. If it goes on long enough, an employee may fall ill. Bullying causes great damage: often this is psychological, but sometimes also physical. Possible complaints: problems with ringing in the ears, high muscular tension, depression or sleeping problems. In other words, things you might want to avoid.

Current situation

Therefore, it is my honest opinion that it is crucial to tackle these bullies.  For example, in my country The Netherlands, more than 50% of the companies have not (yet) developed a policy to prevent or tackle bullying. As it turns out, bullying on the work floor is still not fully recognized or taken seriously. And where the issue is recognized, they do not know well what they can do about it. 

This is why we have to take action ourselves!

To stop such a bull (this is where it comes from) or bully, you have to play it tactically. No, you do not have to put on a bull fighter’s suit and have a red cloth. But what you have to do is this:

1. Realize that you are dealing with bullying

The first thing to do is give the animal a name and do not blame yourself.

realize there is a bullyIt may well be that you have not been aware for a long time of the fact that you were dealing with ‘bullying’, because it is absurd that this still happens among adults. Yet it happens, and it is better to know when it happens to you (or a colleague) and to acknowledge that you (or the other person) are in trouble. Once the problem is clear, further action can be taken.

2. You take action!

The limit or breaking point of bullying is different for everyone. Keeping silent here, as many people like to do, will work adversely. What is meant by this is that you also say something by saying nothing. In effect, you say that the bully can go ahead and that there is nothing wrong with that. So, this will not change anything about your situation. In other words, if you do not speak out loud about the bullies, you will never get the outcome you want. Go ahead and expose them for what they really are. 
Maybe he thinks that he is funny. Let him clearly know that he is going too far and that his ‘jokes’ are no longer fun. Maybe it already stops then.

3. Keep it to facts, not emotions

When you speak, talk about the facts. If necessary, keep a log to get exactly keep things under controlwhat your bully has said or done when you report to a supervisor, a friend or a colleague. Certainly when legal or policy-related steps are taken, (documented) facts are very important.

By keeping it business-like and factual, you may also make it easier for yourself to report bullying. You do not whine, but denounce something.

4. Choose for yourself

See how you can best get out of this suffocating situation: alone or with the help of someone else. Do not let the situation get out of hand and choose for yourself. In this you may be unashamedly selfish. It is about your well-being and job satisfaction. Realize that you can not always change the situation, but how you deal with it yourself. Imitate the behavior of your tormentor: ignore him, snare at him, scold. But be careful not to go too far, or get fired.

5. Get more people on your side

It is common knowledge that social exclusion is what makes bullying so devastating. Make sure that you are not alone, no more. Maybe you know other victims of your bully – or of another bully. Also friendly colleagues who are just against bullying, you can use on your side. In this way you are stronger, and no longer alone.

Moreover, you force the company to deal with the issue and it is less likely that the entire incident will be forgotten without measures. Plead together for an anti-bullying policy, however sad it is that it is necessary, it helps to prevent victims in the future and to tackle bullies once and for all.

6. Stay calm and confident, like a bull tamer

Bullies smell fear, remember? That’s what is supposed to be a big factor. Stop being scared, stop blaming yourself and stop the one who does blame: tame that bull!

Consult someone who can mediate in the work situation. Think of a confidential adviser, the company doctor or someone from the trade union. Perhaps the problem can be proven and you can go to your supervisor together. You may prefer an independent person from, for example, the external HR service provider. See what applies to you and what feels safe.

7. Resign at the right moment

It is possible that the bullying behavior in your department is tolerated or that your supervisor is the bully. It may even happen that the management wants you to step out yourself, so that difficult (and expensive) dismissal procedures are prevented. Then you should look for another job, but: never resign yourself! I am giving you another very real possibility below.

My final thoughts

Anyone can find him or herself in this unfortunate situation and sooner or later it will happen to you. For many reasons or for no particular reason at all.
Be aware that any form of harassment is unacceptable, under any circumstances.
As you have seen above, there are ways to tackle this issue, be it in cooperation with your company or if they don’t, by yourself (with help of colleagues). 

Never let your health be adversely influenced by bullying ‘colleagues’. Take action, even to the point that you have to switch jobs or the company. 

If you are afraid of losing your job (=income), why don’t you become your own boss and become financially independent? Read all about this life changing opportunity here.

Share your personal experiences with bullying by filling out the comment box below.

What are the warning Signs of a Toxic Boss?

Introduction

A toxic boss is someone who misuses his position and the power that this position provides him. Psychological studies focused on work situations indicate that good relationships between colleagues lead to better productivity and more progress. Despite these studies, however, there are still enough bosses who use methods and behavior that are detrimental to their employees and companies.

These kind of ‘leaders’ carry a sort of feudal heritage with them. They have an autocratic idea of power. That is why they do not worry about their behavior, warning signs of toxic bosshowever harmful it may be. They see the company or organization as a machine that must function properly. Their subordinates are only gears in that machine. Toxic bosses are more focused on the results than the process.

Researchers discover time and time again that positive leadership leads to greater efficiency on the work floor. Recently coaching leadership has come to the fore and in the long run, democratic and horizontal models generate more respect and thus productivity among employees. An authentic leader exerts his moral authority above all. He is not dependent on coercion or punishment to ensure that his employees are committed to the business objectives. Instead, he motivates and rewards them. This encourages a sense of belonging and motivates employees to be more involved in their work.

Below I will discuss some of the main warning signs that these toxic bosses exhibit.

A toxic boss is arrogant

Toxic bosses believe that their power makes them better than everyone else. It does not matter how they ended up in their position, they always feel superior. Moreover, they believe that they have the right to treat others as less important, just because they are the boss.

This arrogance manifests itself in body language, their way of talking and their style. Toxic bosses want to be intimidating. They interpret the fear of their employees as something positive. Their arrogance is always more related to uncertainty and lack of confidence than true superiority.

I always called this management by fear, although I did not exactly understand why. Now I do.

He does not know how to listen or communicate

One of the most obvious signs of a ‘poisonous’ boss is how difficult it is for him to listen to others. These types of bosses believe that listening to their employees makes them unjustly important. They assume that if they listen to their subordinates, they will take their power over them.

Toxic bosses also do not know how to communicate. In fact, their instructions can be unnecessarily complicated. They do this on purpose to make an impression or even to intimidate their employees. A poisonous boss speaks in absolute terms in an attempt to emphasize that he has the last word about everything. It is common that poisonous bosses do not appreciate what others say. They can do this with indifference or by doubting their employees in a disrespectful way.

He is controlling and not flexible

Toxic bosses do not understand the difference between maintaining and controlling. They are also unable to see the difference between guidance and orders. They do not trust the people with whom they work. That is why they think that micro-management is the best strategy. They assume that their job is to control and punish what they find inappropriate behavior. Find out more about a micro-managing boss here.

The toxic boss is yelling at his employees

boss yelling at employeesToxic bosses are also not at all flexible. They see situations completely in black and white. They believe that strength is the same as inflexibility, and if they are not extremely strict, people will see them as weak. That is why you can not question their orders and they hardly explain their ideas. Their employees have to do everything exactly as they say, otherwise they will be punished.

He does not know how to deal with conflicts

These types of bosses see anger as something favorable. They believe that bad moods and irritability are signs of a serious and responsible employee. So they interpret these qualities as expressions of dedication and solidity. That is why they often sound annoyed when they give orders or ‘solve’ problems at work by shouting. They think they have the right to give their employees a scolding.

If they have a problem with an employee, it is their solution to impose new orders or to give a kind of punishment. It does not matter to them whether the people they work with feel uncomfortable. If other people do not follow the rules, they get angry and they see these people as weak. A poisonous boss creates a tense and oppressed working environment. He thinks that this will encourage his employees to work harder. However, quite the opposite is true.

He rejects the initiative of others

Taking the initiative is a sign of autonomy, strength and skill. That is why a toxic boss feels threatened by an employee who takes the initiative. They may even think that these types of workers are going beyond their limits and challenge the authority. Toxic bosses reject everyone with ideas for innovation or improvement.

And in their performance assessment they will still claim that you are not pro-active!

He can not deal with time

Good time management is essential to guide staff and prevent problems. One of the things that makes someone a bad boss is bad time management. This includes poor planning and prioritization of activities.

Bad time management creates a chaotic workplace. Employees often have to finish their work in record time. Or there will be times when they have nothing to do. In these cases, the workplace feels unstable and disorganized. As a result, employees feel stressed and tense.

He does not know what his employees need

Bad bosses have no idea what their employees need. In fact, they have no interest in finding out. They believe that personal things are inappropriate or even irrelevant in the workplace. They see the personal life of people as an obstacle to getting work done.

The toxic boss does not respect his employees

A toxic boss believes that the personal needs of his employees have nothing to do with his responsibilities. Because they see everything in black and white, they assume that personal problems are just an excuse that employees use to justify a missed day or incomplete work. Toxic bosses find it very difficult to see their employees as ‘complete’ people.

Employment law around the world is trying to protect workers, but the reality is that there are many bosses who push the boundaries of what is legal. They subtly ignore the rights of their employees and hide their offensive attitude behind the unpredictability of human relationships.

Final thoughts

A toxic boss depends mainly on fear. This is the tool that a toxic boss uses to ensure that his employees adhere to business goals. Although this model works in the short term, it will lead to a stagnating organization in the long term. In addition, employees will feel frustrated and ready to leave as soon as the opportunity arises. A toxic boss is harmful to the organization as a whole.

Toxic bosses are in abundance in times of crisis. They know that they can cross the border and that most of their employees will not say anything about it because they are afraid of losing their jobs. Nevertheless, all employees must know their rights and be aware that they can say something in a respectful way if they feel that they are being treated unfairly.

In my next article I will inform you how to deal with a toxic boss, which you can access by clicking here.

Types of Leadership Styles – Which one Works Best?

Introduction

You have a manager and he has his style, then you have another manager with a completely different style. Confusing sometimes. In this article I am going to help you distinguishing between different types of leadership styles. 3 types of stylesNowadays there are three main leadership styles: charismatic/transforming, democratic and autocratic, with each having sub-divisions. I am giving a short description of the characteristics of each style, discuss the advantages and disadvantages and indicate which one works best. At the end I will give you my number one recommendation in case you want to become your own boss.

The charismatic/transforming styles

Lately a great deal of attention was paid to the impact of the so-called transforming management styles. This showed that the following things are characteristic:

  • Charisma or the behavior of leaders, where they have a warm atmosphere, convincing, take position and appeal to employees on an emotional level.
  • Inspiring motivation including through the publication of an inspiring vision, including values and team values.
  • Intellectual stimulation, challenging beliefs and procedures.
  • Individual consideration, listening to and meeting needs, coaching and mentoring.

The importance of meaningful work and the focus on control of the employee i.e. how and when the work is done.  According to a recent study these styles correlate most with aspects such as employee satisfaction, motivation of the employees and assessed effectiveness of the leader.

I personally could not agree more. You would be lucky to encounter one of these two following styles.

Inspiring 

This is the most ‘dominant’ of the charismatic styles. The leader who uses this style inspires and encourages others through his self-assured interaction style, courage and clear messages. Often this attitude is referred to in the literature as “managerial courage”. Typical key concepts are:

  • communicating clearly about the vision
  • if the situation requires them, giving clear instructions
  • taking self-assured action, and daring to go against the flow if necessary
  • deciding issues when performance or organizational problems pop up
  • decisively lead people and conversations

Coaching

This is clearly the most preferred style by the employees, because this style is coaching leadershipcharacterized by the attention paid to employees. A manager who uses this style invests time and energy in her/his employees. Typical key concepts are:

  • involving the employees in the work and giving them the opportunity to take initiatives
  • always having a listening ear
  • making time for employees (talking about work, about their development)
  • understanding and mediating in conflicts

The democratic styles

These styles are sometimes described as “management by exception – active”: the leader watches from a distance; he/she monitors performance and only takes (corrective) action if necessary. This is only possible if standards and rules have been set before. In terms of satisfaction with managerial and employee satisfaction in general, one of these styles always scores well, especially the participatory style. Often this style gets the second best score in this area after the coaching style.

Participative 

This is the most appreciated of the democratic styles. For example, the manager who uses this style has an employee’s say in decisions or builds decisions together. Empowerment is often also mentioned as a characteristic of this style: this means giving self-control and autonomy to the employees. Some see it as an encouraging, sometimes compelling employees to take responsibility. This sense of responsibility must grow thanks to the application of this leadership style.

Typical key concepts for this style are:

  • having modesty, calm and patience
  • trusting employees
  • asking questions and listening to opinions of employees
  • involving employees in decisions
  • giving their staff room in the performance of their duties

Passive 

Overall, it can be said that this concerns non leadership or the avoidance of his/her responsibilities as a manager.

In scientific research these styles are mostly referred to as “passive leadership”, “laissez-faire” or “management by exception – passive”. A manager will only intervene at the moment that the problems are already serious.

Withdrawn 

This style is strongly characterized by personal and professional absence and bad leadershipindecision. Employees will soon think that the manager has no ambition and a lack of interest. This style leads to demotivation and employees who feel lost.

The following core concepts are part of this style:

  • letting tensions and problems last too long
  • leaving employees to their fate, 
  • not giving enough challenges
  • giving too little time and guidance to his/her employees

Distrustful 

The person who uses this style intervenes too late in the event of conflicts in the group or operational problems and is often suspicious of the motives of employees. The leader who uses this style hesitates and is unclear about what he/she wants and the direction to follow.

The following core concepts are part of this style:

  • having unclear positions, withholding important information and hiding intentions
  • assessing others quickly and mostly negatively
  • being indecisive and anxious

 

The autocratic styles

Managers who use these styles mainly hope that they can enforce obedience (“compliance”) from their employees. If this happens occasionally, this is part of the “normal” behavioral repertoire, but if this happens frequently, this is problematic. Various studies into stress show that these styles result in a huge social cost, both for the companies themselves due to much workforce movements and high absenteeism, but also for society as a whole, due to the costs of health care for work-related sickness absence.enforcing obedience

Those who use this style communicate in a hard way, without showing much understanding for the other party. There are a lot of unilateral rules/requirements imposed and demanded.

Recently research has been conducted into the effects of these leadership styles.It can be seen that reference is made to “destructive leadership” or “toxic leadership”, because these styles can result in dictatorial behavior, fraud, narcissism, exploitation, etc. I have described narcissistic bosses in this article.

Unfortunately, there are still many executives who hold the popular but scientifically incorrect belief that this style produces good results, especially in crisis situations. I would say that if you have these style long enough, you will end up in a crisis situation anyway.

Directive 

A manager who uses this style often strives (in the eyes of others) to achieve personal success in a competitive manner. They monitor and correct their employees in an active way and often refer to standards and rules. The following core concepts are part of this style:

  • striving to achieve her/his objective
  • being very result-oriented
  • working on their own careers; focused on (personal) success
  • wanting obedience / having high demands

Authoritarian 

People answering questionnaires will almost without exception say they detest these style. They perform things in a one-sided and unpleasant way. There is anger in all kinds of gradations, like irritation, annoyance, impatience. The following core concepts are part of this style:

  • domination and dictation 
  • not tolerance for any responses
  • threatening with sanctions
  • being unexpectedly cool and hard
  • often expressing annoyance and anger

I would call this management style decisively: management by fear. Not far off of modern slavery, ok, but without the whips.

Final thoughts + Recommendation

I personally prefer the coaching, inspiring or participative styles of leadership and I wish anybody would have this kind of management. Unfortunately, I see the rest as, maybe not bad for the company, but certainly not very good or even bad for the employee. I would not flourish under passive, distrustful and withdrawn leadership.

If you happen to be under autocratic style leadership, you better take immediate action in order to avoid complete demotivation, stress and even health problems. Modern slavery is present, but should not be tolerated at all. It can destroy people’s lifes.

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Which type of boss do you have or did you get rid of? Let us know by filling in the comment box.

 

 

Why Performance Reviews are not Important anymore

Introduction

Time-consuming, rigid, bureaucratic, deadly for motivation: the classic evaluation meeting with annual objectives has had its best time. Many employees are not in favour of an annual formal evaluation. Young people in particular are of the opinion that this system benefits them hardly anything. This is the conclusion of a recent study by the agency Wakefield Research among a thousand American employees of up to 35 years old. Formal evaluations would, according to the study, have a negative impact on motivation and productivity. From personal experience I myself can fully underline this.

There is consensus now that companies are increasingly opting for a different approach. We have changed the entire evaluation process. Flexibility and coaching are now paramount.  Nevertheless, to keep evaluating in a better way is useful: employees are entitled to and have a need for feedback, positive and negative. How else are you going to improve?

How difficult can it be? I mean, telling your staff what you expect from them, then keeping an eye on them and re-direct where and when necessary. In my mind this should be a continuous process, not a one time only. Read on and I will inform you why traditional performance reviews are not important anymore.

Origin of performance appraisal

As a manager you may not think about it every day , but there was a time when there were no performance interviews with employees at all. Only at the end of the seventies of the last century the dialogue about functioning became commonplace.

At the moment you would think it unimaginable, but in the first instance the performance interview was mainly a task of the personnel officer. It was not until the 1990s that we moved this task ‘to the line’ and managers who were deployed for this. That it moved to the line manager is very logical as he or she is directly involved with you.

What is a performance appraisal? 

The dictionary defines it as: periodically speaking conversation between employee and supervisor about the functioning of the first.

However, in Wikipedia you will find a more diversified definition:

“A performance interview is a dialogue in which the mutual functioning of the employee and his supervisor is discussed. The conversation is two-sided; the

manager asks questions about the functioning of the employee and the employee asks equal questions to his supervisor. The relationships between manager and employee in the interview are equal. “

This view is the classic conception of a performance interview. A very brief turn: everyone over the age of fifty who asks you about the meaning of performance appraisal will probably look at it this way. Personnel management is not an exact science, as it turns out. If we agree with each other in mathematics that 1 + 1 makes 2 , then that’s it. In the humanities sciences you can easily find ten different books that all have a slightly different meaning to the same concept of performance appraisal.

Disadvantages

They can be contrary to cultures. For example, against a desired corporate culture, department culture or professional culture.

The system depends on the execution of others in organisations. Not every manager has the same amount of know-how to professionally conduct performance interviews. This ensures quality difference and comparison problems.

disadvantages of performance appraisalsThe system is susceptible to improper use (ethics) by executives in organisations to settle personal conflict with employee.

The system can be abused by organizations for, for example, reorganization plans and outplacement.

Poor performance appraisals can be detrimental to profitability. (decrease in productivity, employee loyalty and customer orientation).

The systems can undesirably influence the behavior of employees because employees behave excessively towards the “control variables” and do not perform other obvious ways of working less well. The phenomenon of functioning can not be clarified and covered 100%.

The systems can politically form power centers in organizations. For example, it may happen that personnel matters, with respect to other business departments, exert an above-average influence on, for example, performance management and makes the involvement of other departments in strategic or policy matters more difficult.

Appraising your staff one time and at the end of the year is simply not enough. If an employee is not functioning in one aspect, why wait until the end of the year to tell?

In case you are asking why I am not listing any advantages, here is my answer from a long time personal experience in the work force: there are advantages, but they are all for the benefit of management. I have personally not seen any advantages for the employees and I think this evidently bureaucratic system was specifically designed for the bigger companies.

It is time to say goodbye to the performance interview

Many companies have meanwhile gotten rid of these horrible performance appraisals and opted for the more result-oriented and personal approach.

Globalization ensures that we look at the way in which international organisations have arranged their dealings with employees, and that involves a decent dose of business to us that we are used to from time immemorial. In addition, there is also a whole host of recent research that shows conclusively that making concrete result agreements with employees not only produces enormous performance improvement, but also simply gives employees a better footage.

In the new evaluation or growth process for employees, with so-called check-in interviews, the process is less fixed and it puts more initiative in the employee. The coaching aspect has become more important. There are still objectives, but there is more room for personal interpretation with more dialogue and less administration. The intention is that every conversation starts with a white sheet. As a company, you also have to be able to look at the performance of our employees more broadly.

One of the spearheads in the new system is to commemorate and split up the current role of ‘coach’. You want to distinguish between the evaluation of the performance of the employees on the one hand and their development on the other. You can now entrust the evaluation of the performance to a people manager, usually a team or department manager. He or she follows the employees in their work and performance and guides them in everything needed to make it happen, in the team and for the customer. 

Coach as career counselor

A coach, on the other hand, has a different role. He or she offers the employees a listening ear and gives them the opportunity to tell them what their expectations are about development, where their interests and passions lie and what questions they are struggling with. The coach helps the workers to develop and seize the opportunities that present themselves at the right time. A coach is actually someone who offers career counselling and creates an environment where it is safe to put all topics on the table in full openness. 

More feedback moments

The young population of employees is clearly demanding to extend the formal feedback interviews to more frequent, informal, on-the-job feedback moments. This real time development can best be described as a mindset aimed at the continuous development of both themselves and others, where every work situation is an opportunity to grow in the job. Supported by a snapshot application, employees can ask managers to assess them on the basis of the core competences that you define for each level. The target is for employees to request about six of these formal feedback moments each year, supplemented by many informal contacts. 

Conclusion

The traditional performance appraisal fortunately is on the way out. Many companies have now seen that a one-time per year employee assessment does not produce the right outcome. Management understands that a more personal, continuous, result-oriented approach is by far the better option.

become your own bossYou, dear reader, please share your experiences on this forum and let us know what is happening in your particular company. Moreover, I would welcome any questions you any have on this article or other boss related issues. This whole sight has been designed in order to help you in matters with your bosses, yes even ultimately defeat them.

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Performance Appraisals – Why People Hate Them

Introduction

We should get rid of performance appraisals.

Nowhere does negative or constructive criticism appear more frequently than in performance reviews of employees. The prevailing theory is that criticism, which invariably is part of the performance review, will improve the performance appraisals exit pleaseemployee’s performance, and in addition the employee will positively welcome it. Nothing can be further from the truth.

In my 36 years of being an employee I have seen nothing constructive about an annual pay and performance review.

I am quoting Dr. Culbert – Professor of Management who is very clear in his criticism:

To my way of thinking, a one-side-accountable, boss-administered review is little more than a dysfunctional pretense. It’s a negative to corporate performance, an obstacle to straight-talk relationships, and a prime cause of low morale at work. Even the mere knowledge that such an event will take place damages daily communications and teamwork.

The alleged primary purpose of performance reviews is to enlighten subordinates about what they should be doing better or differently. But I see the primary purpose quite differently. I see it as intimidation aimed at preserving the boss’s authority and power advantage. Such intimidation is unnecessary, though: The boss has the power with or without the performance review.

I have personally come across a lot of negatives and I am giving you my take below, again greatly inspired by Dr. Culbert, you can read his essay here. I will also give you a perfect solution to avoid these issues.

Yearly cycle

From my own extensive experience I know that most performance appraisals take place once a year and at the end of a year or the beginning of next year. You just see bosses get more and more uncomfortable as the time comes and more often than not why only once a year performance appraisalsthese reviews will only be finished in January, leaving the employee in total uncertainty about their new salary until the end of that month.

Why is this evaluation only done once and that late? If the review needs to indicate where the employee lacks in capability or needs to enhance the performance, why wait until the end of the year to tell them, when it would be too late to remedy anything?

Is it not in the interest of the company to supply clearness to people involved at the time needed? Oh, this person is not performing up to standard, but I will wait until the end of the year to tell him/her. Yea, right!

Different mindsets

What do you think when you enter into a yearly review? I bet it is about how big a salary raise you could get and your career development mostly and maybe about how you can do even better and you hope you can do this in a constructive evaluation with your boss. You think that everything you do or say will affect your pay rise and you are prepared to negotiate about it.different mindset

However, your boss comes to the table with a different mindset. He knows he can only give you so much or even has to tell you to wait until next year. He wants to talk about your relationships with other people and how you interact with them. He has missed opportunities in mind and spent time finding out where you lack in skills.

Knowing all this any constructive discussion has been virtually killed-off beforehand! This is exactly how I experienced having a try at a mutual dialogue and found it was utterly impossible. Now I know exactly why, but right then it was more of a nuisance, with the predicted outcome of me asking myself: why am I wasting my time here!

Indeed I have been at a point, where I told my boss just to skip the whole circus, not knowing that my boss would be in some (minor) trouble. He then “threatened” to send me to HR or to put a warning in my personal file. Imagine what good this will do to your relationship!

No link between review and pay

People go the performance reviews having the illusion that right there and then or as a result of the outcome of this review, their salary increases will be determined and that anything is negotiable. From personal experience I know this to be far from the truth. Whether you will get an increase in pay or not has already been predetermined by your bosses directed by the company’s policies and market expectations for the next year(s).

Your boss has then to come up with a credible story which ultimately leads to a salary change/promotion or not. To support your boss in coming up with a credible story, a performance appraisal is a great instrument, as it will give your boss almost all the fire power he needs. Believe me when I am saying that a boss can come up with a thousand reasons not to promote you or not to increase your salary, even if you are entitled to both.

What defense do you have if your boss says that you are not pro-active or not enough pro-active? I will tell you straight away: none whatsoever! Or this one: HR policy is that we have to keep promotions company wide at a minimum this year, we will see next year again. You will go to HR? Ha, ha, good luck! Read here why HR probably will not help.

Objectiveness not there

All companies claim that performance appraisals have to be or even will be objective observations by the boss. If this is true, then given time, my reviews from two different bosses would be in agreement on the big points of my evaluations and only slightly differ on minor points. In reality, when two different bosses evaluate you even in no objectiveness presentconsecutive years, more often than not they contradict each other in many ways.

I would submit that an evaluation given by one boss in two consecutive months may greatly differ, depending on the person’s mood and or what happened in the time just before the review.

I have seen that people got a favorable review just because they had a successful undertaking just before the review, never mind their under par performances in the beginning of the year. As a matter of fact, I have watched people use this phenomenon, by doing the bare minimum in the first part of the year, then increasing their efforts greatly in the time prior to the appraisal.

What about this beauty! Your boss tells you that he has a certain opinion about you, which usually is not very favorable and may not be his real opinion, but to support his lame and weak view he claims that he has had conversations with other people in your workplace, who told him the same. And no, he cannot reveal who he has been talking to, they are to remain anonymous. In my thinking this is the most coward attitude I have ever encountered.

Use measurements with same standards?

No two people are the same. Every individual comes with his or hers personal characteristics, flaws, competencies, capabilities and other features. Some need more support than others; some ask for guidance, some want to work by themselves. Like when having more than two children of your own, every single individual still needs a unique approach.use same standards

The performance appraisal does not make this distinction between people as in all cases it will be the same dull summary of points against which different people’s performance will be evaluated. It asserts that people have a certain competence and does not focus on what employees are competent to do. This structure supports the boss in looking at similar entities rather than unique individuals.

Teamwork at risk

Many bosses seem to have a much distorted view of teamwork: his people are the team and he will tell them exactly what to do. Thus the boss has effectively placed him or herself outside the team. A performance review amplifies this status by giving the boss all the power and an employee is at the mercy of their boss’s mental state at the time.

Instead of asking how they can improve their teamwork, the boss focuses on how that particular individual can improve his or her activities!

A performance review is the boss’s one-sided view of the employee’s performance and whether his performance was under par or not present, does not get into the equation. If an organization can run effectively only on well established one-on-one relationships between bosses and each individual in their staff, then performance appraisals undermine these relationships hugely.

Employees will never feel they can speak their minds to their bosses, consequently leaving bosses in the dark about their staff.

The corporate improvement myth

Isn’t it said that this yearly carousel of evaluating, reviewing and rating is to contribute to enhanced employee’s performances and thus a better corporate performance? Well, what I have experienced myself and saw in others around me: oh my god, this circus again, they know already what pay rise they can or cannot give you and are now corporate improvementdirecting your appraisal towards its predetermined outcome anyway.

I know what effect this has on people’s spirit, motivation and they might even become cynical. What I also saw is that your initially highly rated boss conveniently and willingly follows this procedure, goes by the book, hides behind the rules and is just left like a mere manager or less (certainly not a leader!). As a consequence of that people start losing their faith and or respect for their boss or even the company.

I could not help but conclude that by creating such an atmosphere, you really are not going to get the best out of your employees. Their attitude might become one of ‘yeah right’ when your boss comes with another of his great ideas to move forward.

Instead of creating a nice working environment, where people love to go to everyday, they have initiated one of hidden agendas, people working for themselves, doing their jobs like robots and doing just those things that will help them survive, barely.

I do not think that a company, any company, will benefit from this kind of “working” attitude.

Conclusion

For those of you that have never experienced anything untoward with these processes, this might just be a warning to stay alert for the future, because not all bosses and companies are the same. I can assure you that there are people out there who never encountered these problems.

For the majority that unfortunately have been faced with one or more of the facts as mentioned above, I would say that you will certainly not be the only one out there nor the last ones. On the positive side, many other people like myself, have expressed their criticism on the process of these reviews. Some companies have already re-thought their management of yearly pay rises and how to do this in the interest of all parties, however, most other firms need more convincing. As with all good things they will take time, time which you may not have!

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