In a perfect world, only the best of the bunch would be promoted to management within a company. However, we’ve all worked with someone who just wasn’t suited to run a team. Managers are people and have every right to be flawed just like the rest of us. However, sometimes a manager’s flaws can upset the dynamic of a company, affecting productivity and customer service.
Sometimes a polite, yet direct conversation is all that’s needed to shake them out of their slump. Other times, it’s best for you and the company that they move along and finds a new career path.
5 Signs your manager is a bad fit for your company
Here’s 5 pretty clear signs your manager may be due for a demotion at the very least:
1. They frequently give bad advice
Sometimes, you just know their advice is bad news for the company. You come to them with customer concerns, and they order you to “Tell them to hit the bricks if they don’t like our policy!” or to “Keep this between the two of us,” when they make a huge amateurish error that costs the company loss of productivity or profits.
A good solution to this problem is to simply tell your manager the error of their ways and hope it helps them. If you think your job might be at risk if you were to confront them about their wrong-doing, it might be time to go over their head and tell upper management before the manager’s mistakes cause a total company collapse.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. If your manager is always dishing out bad advice, it’s up to you and/or your coworkers to take action. The boss may very well be secretly blaming all of you for the consequences of his bad decisions!
2. They blindly follow other people’s input
… And quite often find themselves in deep doodoo with upper management for making costly decisions. The “follower” is the type of manager that can really screw up the company if they’re allowed to wield power for too long. They ask for input, then follow the first bit of advice they’re given; seemingly unable to make a conscious decision of their own.
This type of manager might be everyone’s best buddy around the office because of their mental pliability, but a manager’s role is to weigh out all variables and make a decision based on what’s best. This type of manager needs a demotion pronto, because they’re obviously not a leader. Talk to upper management about your concerns. You might be better off moving on if your manager is also the owner of the company and seems doomed to failure.
3. They constantly mock you and your coworkers
There are some people out there who are just misbegotten “smart Alec” types who can’t help but use a little playful mockery when interacting with others. Some people just grow up this way and never get that nobody likes a smartass, regardless of how many people may have told them how offensive they are throughout the years.
However, the line between playful mimicking or teasing is easily crossed, especially in a professional environment.
If the manager teases you when you make genuine suggestions, talks down to you in passing, makes derogatory remarks, mimics the way you talk or move, or uses words like “stupid,” “moron,” “simpleton,” etc., you have a bad manager. The only solution here is to confront them directly. If they can’t change their tune, your only solution then is to have an official meeting with them through HR, or upper management. It’s rare for people to change such a strong personality trait, expect that you may have to move on if you can’t tolerate this personality flaw from your manager.
4. You’re constantly being ignored
You find yourself constantly in a position where you offer suggestions and feedback to them. The manager seems receptive, agreeable, and poised to take the actions you suggest, only to do the exact opposite of what they agreed to, completely ignoring your advice.
Remember, there is good political skill and there is bad political skill. Nurturing and practicing the latter is bad. Really bad. The latter turns you into what’s called the “Politician Manager.” This kind of manager can be the worst of the worst to deal with – even worse than the mocking type, and certainly worse than the follower to deal with.
This is a touchy situation to try to deal with without the support of others to back you up. If your manager only ignores your input and advice, confront them and ask them why they’re always passing off on your suggestions. If everybody in the office feels this way, consider going to HR and/or upper management and making your case collectively with your coworkers to back up your concerns.
5. The manager’s a narcissist and micro-manager
Oh, this one’s the worst of all? Wouldn’t you agree? They constantly nitpick, make you stay late to make unnecessary changes, hover over you and others every second of the workday, and never seem to give two shakes about what other people think. This nightmarish manager has “OCD” written across their forehead and it’s “My way or the highway” with every decision that’s made on their team. They’re usually not at all best suited to working with and leading a team to success.
Going to HR or upper management can be your only recourse, as by definition a narcissist simply won’t take what you say to heart. They are who they are, and demotion or dismissal is the only thing that’s going to help free your company from their clutches. They don’t care about others, including clients, and aren’t good at earning anyone’s trust in most cases. They have so many “processes” that constantly interrupt the flow of your team and you know the company would run better without them.
What can I takeaway from this article?
This article may sound like excessive ranting, making excuses and blaming others, but there are more than those (even if you can relate to one or two of the above.) So, here’s your takeaway for this article:
1. Is that bad manager… you?
That bad manager mentioned above could very well be you. Use those signs as ways to reflect on your own leadership as a manager, and make the necessary changes for the better.
2. You should do something… anything
If your manager is truly that bad, what can you do as a subordinate? Doing nothing is not a good idea. Remember, business is a team game, and if your manager sucks, chances are, you will eventually as bad as him.
3. Can you do better than your manager?
Remember, when you point your finger at someone, your other four are pointing at you. If you say “amen” to the signs above, then you’d better be sure that you can do better than your bad manager. Pointing fingers is bad, but proving others that you can do better is pretty cool.
Describe your worst experience with a manager and what specific “type” they were. Tell us how you dealt with the problem and whether it had a positive or negative outcome for you and the company.