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How to Turn Bad Bosses into Superior Supervisors

June 9, 2016

Many of us have worked with a bad boss in our lifetime. Remember the micro-manager, the yeller,  the softy, the one who’s never there, and/or the boss who takes all the credit for your work? We've all experienced trials and tribulations working under these leadership styles. "It’s frustrating," we say to ourselves, "but that's life." What if, though, we could somehow magically transform supervisors of this sort into competent, inspiring leaders?

Ineffective, under-prepared managers can quickly lead to a significant decline in workplace performance and productivity. With adequate preparation and training, however, organizational leaders can develop mid-level managers and supervisors with the skill sets needed to help companies shift from surivive to thrive.

Substandard supervisors may take time to show their true colors (or lack thereof), so it helps to know what attributes and behaviors to look for. Consider ways that a bad boss may stand out in a crowd:

  • They are paralyzed by fear
    Incompetent managers may be afraid to take action and make decisions. They may discourage decision-making, or refuse to own up to a decision if it might end in criticism.

  • They compete with subordinates
    They may prevent the completion of tasks because they are unable to delegate, often due to fear of being outperformed by their team members. These bosses have a habit of discreetly taking credit for your work. 

  • They are overly emotional
    They react to problems instead of creating an organized plan, especially when negative situations arise. Instead of encouraging and organizing subordinates, they overshare their feelings about workload or projects and amplify employee distress.

  • They ignore development needs
    All employees regardless of position or rank should have some form of development plan in place. It may be to help them achieve their goal of working in management someday, or training them on new software. Incompetent managers hinder development within themselves and their employees, inevitably stunting the organizational productivity. Remember, a great manager never stops learning.
  • They expect you to be a mind reader
    You may be a high-performer, reaching all your target goals and working as an effective team player. Incompetent bosses may not communicate the organization's goals and objectives effectively. Great bosses share project, monthly, and yearly goals, as well as corporate objectives.

Being a great manager is certainly no easy task! They not only share responsibility for the quality of your work, but your team as well. You bear responsibility when things go wrong and may rarely get much in the way of positive reinforcement when things go well. You yourself may also be dealing with a bad boss, one higher up in your company's organizational ladder.

Providing mentoring and developing managers may not always be easy, but it is essential.  Whether you find yourself struggling as the manager o, attempting to lead a management team, here are some great tips to transform mediocre and incompetent management:

Start small - Make everything better
Take pride in each and every task that you must accomplish. Exert the necessary energy to do each task better than ever before. Of course, it is easy to do the bare minimum; however, what if instead of the norm, you went above and beyond? You don't need to reinvent your product line or revamp strategy in your organization. Instead, challenge yourself to strive to make your daily tasks insanely great! Something as simple as answering the telephone, taking each call with enthusiasm and willingness to help. Igniting this change in your department will be evident among your team and may encourage them to take a similar approach to their work.

Enjoy what you do
Hopefully you are one of the lucky ones who truly enjoys your job. Whether or not you relish every minute of your work day, though, you should be able to find some satisfaction throughout parts of your work day. In focusing on those parts, don’t just do your job - love it! Connect with co-workers in other departments, devote yourself to your team, and be enthusiastic about your company and what it stands for. This attitude can lead to a domino effect of positivity. According to Radical 1000 research, 87 percent of people would choose a job they love that reduces their salary by half over a job they hate paying triple their current salary. When you care about your job, you are ultimately more productive. 

Recognize a job well done
Employee recognition, although a simple concept, can work wonders. Acknowledged employees feel better and work harder, and their positive attitudes often carry over to their interactions with customers. Many companies argue that their employees are the backbone of their organization, yet so many managers fail to show employees the recognition they deserve. If your budget does not allow for a monetary bonus, do not underestimate the power of verbal praise. It is human nature to appreciate feeling valued. Employee recognition should immediate follow workers' accomplishments and/or high performance.

Map out your management team
Determine the individuals that have what it takes to be a manager.  Do this with a thorough assessment of each employee's behaviors and interests.  Evaluate your current managers with a 360 degree feedback system. Reassign under-performing managers who likely have less interest in or aptitude for leadership to other positions in your organization where they have the potential to become top performers. 

June 9, 2016

Many of us have worked with a bad boss in our lifetime. Remember the micro-manager, the yeller,  the softy, the one who’s never there, and/or the boss who takes all the credit for your work? We've all experienced trials and tribulations working under these leadership styles. "It’s frustrating," we say to ourselves, "but that's life." What if, though, we could somehow magically transform supervisors of this sort into competent, inspiring leaders?

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