In nine years of my career, I have spent professionally insignificant, yet a personally rich stint of three months as a Manager. And for the rest of 8 years 9 months, I have been managed by a class of experienced and great managers. I am lucky so far (I believe!).
But unfortunately, for many of my friends, their experience of working with a manager has been equivalent to seeing a horror story at work. From what I have seen and experienced, I have listed down 10 signs of a “Bad Manager”. No gender bias; Just for the convenience of writing, I am referring to that Manager as “He”.
1. He thinks that he knows more than anyone in his team. But the truth is that, NONE is “all-knowing”. Learning is a life-long process and you, sometimes, learn from even your juniors! I can proudly say that I have learnt many things from juniors on several occasions.
2. He just expects, but never lets you know what is expected out of you (besides your KRAs). Years of experience DO NOT “always” make you a great communicator. You need to learn to speak out! If you expect certain things from your junior, make him aware of your expectations! Do not rubbish his approach when he comes to know your expectations. Talk! Make him feel that you understand that value of his presence in the team. Act like an experienced professional.
3. Follows unprofessional approach in behavior and attitude. Be friendly and nice, but not over indulging! Give space to your juniors and make a personal space for yourself as well. Talk politely, stay calm and composed, in every situation – pleasant or unpleasant. Maintain professional body language in whatever you do!No shouting, no yelling, and no bad-mouthing, please.
4. Gets personal with the team. There is absolutely no need to tell your junior personal life-events life a recent break-off or a new relationship. There is no need to know about the personal life of your juniors also!
5. Cares the least about the junior’s comfort at work. If you are a manager, please realize that you are the leader of the team. It is your duty to know how comfortable your juniors are in your leadership.
6. Feels jealous and gets into unhealthy competition with a junior who is progressive and enterprising, or may know more than him. Hang on! You are a manager. Are you leading the team with the fear of being toppled by a junior or with the aspiration to build leaders in your team. Ask yourself.
7. Does not read at all. If you are manager, you need to read a lot. Gain as much knowledge as you can, because you are leading a team of professionals who look up to you as their “Leader”. Do good homework before you come to brief your team in the morning. Read well, stay informed of the industry trends.
8. Considers appraisal time as the time to “give back or spit venom”. Appraisal is the process of reviewing your juniors performance at work, not the time to count all those times when he turned down a personal favor or expressed a different view point during some X…Y…Z meeting. Please be honest to your “Self” and appraise him well, based on his credibility.
9. Does not try to draw the best out of his juniors. All are blessed with unique abilities and also have some weaknesses. Companies hire professionals after assessing the “best” qualities in them, and not judging by their weaknesses. As a manager, it is your duty to identify the abilities of your juniors and draw the “best of the abilities” out of them. If a junior isn’t performing well, it is your duty to talk to him, share your observation and try to make him realize his worth – make him understand the great results of utilizing his experience and expertise. Assure your support in doing that. Hiring and firing is no solution! It only costs high to the companies.
10.Does not take ownership. If a task did not go well because of your inability to handle it perfectly, do not blame the team. They are only following their leader.