Top Qualities of a Bad Manager

You’ve likely heard the phrase: “The people make the place.” This is often particularly true when it comes to the workplace.

Whether it’s working with competent colleagues or motivated managers, your co-workers can make or break a professional environment.

But when it comes to leaders, not everyone in a management position possesses the qualities you’d expect to find in a manager.

While bad managers can be identified in a variety of ways, here are a few qualities that characterize a bad leader.

Lack of Communication

Many performance and/or productivity issues can often be traced back to miscommunications. And the same is true for managers who don’t communicate effectively. If a team is consistently not completing tasks or projects, it doesn’t necessarily mean the team itself is at fault. Workers who don’t ever seem to “get it” may be a victim of leaders who don’t set clear expectations on a regular basis.

Many poor managers either communicate infrequently or are ineffective. In contrast, good leaders tend to listen actively and connect periodically with staff to address issues and offer positive feedback.

An Absence of Vision

Show me a leader who lacks vision and I’ll show you a manager who probably won’t last long in their position. When management is without a firm goal, their ship is sailing around blindly without a real destination.

And if a manager can’t settle on a vision, how can their staff? Without a concrete mission, it’s easy for employees to lack engagement or investment. They may feel like they’re working to no real end — and frustration can build from there.

Know-It-Alls Who Know Nothing

As a manager, it’s not always a good idea to “fake it until you make it.” Know-it-all managers are a dime a dozen.

A good leader knows how to admit it when they don’t know something. And a secure manager isn’t afraid to defer to the expertise of their employees — after all, that’s what they’re there to do.

Although admitting to gaps in knowledge may make managers feel vulnerable, it’s exactly that vulnerability that makes them more human to their employees.  It doesn’t necessarily equate to a lack of self-confidence or weakness. In actuality, this is how you can further connect and build trusting relationships with your employees.

Stress Controls You

You can best judge a manager by how they react in stressful situations. A poor manager will allow stress to control them, rather than taking the appropriate measures to take charge of stressful circumstances.

Symptoms of this include managing issues down much more than they manage up. They also tend to take out their agitation on their employees — obviously not an effective practice for leaders hoping to motivate their workers and keep productivity high.