5 Bad Boss Behaviors to Avoid as a New Manager

a giant hand holds a team of five with 5 Bad Boss Behaviors

Most Bad Boss Behaviors Are Avoidable
Good managers have good “people smarts.”  Your success as a manager, especially a new manager, will depend more on your soft skills than your hard skills. If you want to succeed as a new manager, you need to ask yourself, am I people smart?

Well Documented Bad Boss Behaviors
There are so many well-documented ways to be a bad boss.

  • Bad bosses demand too much of their team
  • Bad bosses can be stubborn and unswerving in their opinions
  • Bad bosses can make decisions impulsively
  • Bad bosses can interrupt and disrespect others
  • Bad bosses can be overly self-oriented

Unfortunately bad boss behaviors like these are real.  New Manager Training experts have compared bad bosses with these traits to toddlers who wield too much power.

What Most Bad Bosses Are Lacking
We find most bad bosses lack the maturity, confidence and empathy to show and use good people skills. Overall, most bad bosses need to develop their emotional intelligence—the ability to manage emotions in times of stress in order to stay calm and in control.

What This Means for You as a New Manager
As a new manager, what can you do to start off on the right foot with your team? For starters, you can beware of the 5 bad boss behaviors to avoid:

1. Do Not Micromanage
Give your employees some space.

If you have set clear performance expectations and your employees understand and accept them, then don’t hover. Let them take care of how they work as long as the results—and the cultural way the results get accomplished—are what you need. Let them take care of the details. You only need to intervene if the work is late, substandard or accomplished in a manner that is in conflict with your corporate values.

2. Do Not Manage Through Power
Yes, you have the new manager title, but it does not entitle you to become a dictator or to intimidate your employees to get results at all costs.

Be sure that it is not your ego that makes the decisions but a fair-minded assessment of the pros and cons. It is all too easy as a new manager to think that you need to wield power to be successful. Instead, you need to support your team and to encourage their cooperation in achieving team goals.

3. Do Not Manage as a Friend
While almost everyone wants to be liked to some degree, your role as a new manager is not to become everyone’s friend.

It is to earn their respect as a leader who, with spirit and understanding, can marshal people to cooperate and commit as a team to agreed-upon goals. Sure, you could (and should) have fun together, but your relationship does need not extend deep into personal friendship. Maintain appropriate friendliness within the professional setting.

You are not competing in a popularity contest. It is your job to set you and your team up for success.

4. Do Not Manage Strictly by the Data
Never forget that “the data” never tell the whole story.

As a manager, you will most likely be held responsible for hitting specific corporate, team and individual targets. But remember that it is your people who will get you there. Just like a professional athlete integral to a team’s success who does not show up in the box score, you need to look beyond the data to figure out what’s going wrong or right.

Get to know your team members on an individual basis so you can have the conversations and trust that will allow you to support them as needed. You should understand what motivates each one. Then the data become a helpful data point and not the only measure of a team member’s contribution.

5. Do Not Manage by Crisis
Hold regular one-on-one and group sessions with your team so you can monitor progress toward team goals and handle issues as they arise.

Don’t let yourself be surprised by negative results and do not let things fester. You should work alongside your team so you are aware of difficulties and problems before they become too big to handle. Your approach should be to work toward solutions not simply to put out fires.

The Bottom Line
Invest the time and energy to avoid bad boss behaviors.  To manage others well, rely more upon your skills as a thoughtful, caring leader than a bad boss who only cares about themselves.

To learn more about becoming a rock star new manager, Download Our Research-Backed New Manager Toolkit Now

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