How to be a terrible boss

5 easy to apply tips that many managers ALREADY USE

Have you ever been in a situation as a manager where members of your team didn’t listen to you? When you ask them something they have an ever so slight look of disdain on their faces. They explain why it’s simply impossible. They’re too busy. They tell you it will never work. Or they don’t say anything and simply keep postponing something that is vital for the organisation. You feel humiliated and frustrated. You are the boss, but suddenly you realise that you won’t get anything done without the help of your team.

I flatter myself that I’m generally respected and liked by our team. But I must admit, hesitantly, that there have been moments when my appearance would lead to a drop in the temperature. I didn’t always know what I had done wrong and once the atmosphere is bad, it is really hard to fix.

Losing the respect of the team is really easy to do. Here are five tips that will guarantee you “success”. On paper they might look quite obvious and a bit over the top. In real life, when you are busy and under pressure, it is really easy to fall into these traps.

1. Think of your team as troublesome

This is probably the most effective tip. Try to think of your people as troublesome. Focus on how slow and incompetent they are. You actually have proof of it, because you see them chatting all the time, even when there are big deadlines in sight. Obviously, a lot goes wrong with their projects.

2. Let them know

If you think of your team as slow and inadequate, don’t try to help them or try to understand the obstacles they are facing. Instead, let them know how you feel about them. Even if you don’t do it directly (that would be rude!) there are many other subtle ways in which your frustration and disappointment can be conveyed.

3. Don’t give compliments

As a policy, don’t give compliments, not even for the things your team does well. Compliments are known to encourage bad habits. If they think they are doing OK, they will get even slower and sloppier.

4. Be vague

Never tell your team what you want the outcome to look like, when you want it or who is responsible. By making them confused and frustrated, they might work harder to deliver as early as possible and as good as they can.

5. Don’t communicate

People in your team are professionals, and you pay them, so they should be responsible for the mess they create (and be able to read your mind). The more you talk to them and help them, the less they feel they have responsibility themselves. So tip number five: don’t communicate with your team.

Need more?

These strategies are just a few examples of how easy it is to mess things up, as a manager. Tips in a blog can help, but for being effective as a boss (or for dealing with bad bosses) coaching can be life changing. Did you like this blog? Why not have a look at my website or book a free ? or

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