Can You be a Nice Guy and a Good Boss?

February 20th, 2014

Are you too afraid that employees and coworkers will think you’re a jerk? Or do you have the opposite problem—you feel like you’re too nice and not assertive enough?

There’s a huge controversy over how bosses are supposed to behave.

On the one hand, you have people who think bosses should be more civilized and respectful. In other words, “nicer.”

But then you have a recent study called “Do Nice Guys and Gals Really Finish Last,” which concludes that “agreeable” people earn less than their counterparts. Instead of trying to be something you’re not, why not learn from the mistakes of others? Here are the top six ways to be a lousy boss:

1. Don’t Treat Your Employees Like Human Beings. If you don’t view employees as people, just as a means to an end, they won’t like you. Bad bosses ignore employees’ feelings and concerns and never get to know them on a personal level.

2. Have Completely Unrealistic Expectations. Expect your workers to be completely dedicated to their jobs, working whatever hours you need to reach extraordinary levels of performance—but don’t show appreciate or reward them for their hard work.

3. Fail to See Your Own Shortcomings. Be a poor role model, and refuse to own up to your shortcomings or mistakes. Blame them on other people whenever possible.

4. Punish First and Ask Questions Later. Instead of calmly analyzing an issue and working to fix it, fly off the handle and start pointing your finger when something goes wrong.

5. Be a Bully. Pick out specific employees to badger and tease. Justify your bad behavior by saying you’re “making an example” of these individuals in an effort to keep everyone in line.

6. Be Dishonest. This can mean being two-faced or a backstabber, or simply a boss who lies, takes credit for others’ work or throws employees under the bus if it means saving face.

Remember this: you shouldn’t be mean or nice because some study or book says so. You’ll be a successful leader if you are confident in your abilities and comfortable in your own skin, as well as a good fit for your company’s unique corporate culture.

And if you’re looking for a new place to increase your management skills, knowledge and experience, call Synerfac. We’ll work with you to find the environment where your leadership skills will thrive.

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