Four Things I Wish Bad Bosses Would Do

65% of the workforce would choose a new boss over a raise.*

work on yourself

Bad bosses:

  1. Focus on problems.
  2. Treat people like tools.
  3. Know it all.
  4. Isolate themselves.
  5. Can’t make decisions.
  6. Need the spotlight.
  7. Never say thank you.
  8. Don’t listen.
  9. Fix people.
  10. Distrust.

See Facebook for insight from readers on bad bosses.

I wish bad bosses would:

#1. Practice humility.

  1. Work on themselves first and most.
  2. Honor the strengths of others, even when others have weaknesses.
  3. Express gratitude. Get up from the chair. Walk around and say thank you to people.
  4. Doubt themselves enough to explore options, but not so much that you’re paralyzed.
  5. Smile at people. Don’t be so serious.

#2. Open up.

  1. Expose good intentions. Let people know what they’re really trying to accomplish in positive terms. Bad bosses are so busy focusing on problems and fixing things that they forget the good they’re trying to accomplish.
  2. Ask about employee interests, children, or spouse.
  3. Explore successes.
  4. Be real. A fake boss makes people feel they don’t matter.

#3. Listen.

  1. Schedule a thirty minute – “no agenda” – meeting twice a month with direct reports. Let them set the agenda. Ask questions. Learn about people.
  2. Take direct reports to lunch, once a quarter.
  3. Ask, “What do you think?”
  4. Ask, “What would you like me to ask you about?”
  5. Stop talking. Forget advanced listening techniques. If you’re a lousy listener, just stop talking so much.

#4. Invite feedback.

Bad bosses give feedback, but don’t invite it.

  1. How could I be better at ______, today? (Fill in the blank)
  2. What am I doing when I energize you?
  3. Ask “what” not “why.”
  4. Ask “how” not “why.”

Four quick tips for bad bosses:

  1. Stop protecting people from failure. The more you protect people, the more protecting you’ll need to do.
  2. Deal with problem people on the team.
  3. Teach more than tell.
  4. Say “we,” more than “me.”

What do employees really want from bosses?

What’s the number one thing you wish bad bosses would do?