11 Features of a Boss from Hell and How Leaders Can Avoid Them

Posted by on Friday, March 15th, 2013 with 1 Comments

traits of a boss from hell

Image Source: Becomeacareer.com

If you hate your boss, you’re not alone. A difficult, frustrating boss can ruin the job for everyone. From poor communication to bad habits, working under the wrong person can set your career goals in a downward spiral.

Believe it or not, studies have even been done to find the worst bosses in the U.S. Employees were polled to determine which leaders caused the most strife. the features that put these guys on the list (they all happen to be men, by the way) were related to:

bad boss stats

Image Source: Becomecareer.com

Now, for anyone who’s ever gotten yelled at on the job, you can only imagine how frustrating it would be to continue working for such a volatile personality. The kicker, of course, is that the leaders who use these tactics cost themselves an incredible amount of money with the need to hire new candidates to replace the scorned ones.

After all, when you’re a qualified executive, there is no reason to continue working under a bad boss, especially if you’re part of a competitive industry that is in need of your particular skill set.  Executive coaching would typically work with this type of leader to help them resolve internal issues that cause their angst.

bad boss spotting

Image Source: Becomecareer.com

For the rest of you who are considering a new job, here are the best ways to spot (and avoid) a bad boss in your interview:

They are overzealous about your personal time.
While legal issues control what someone can directly ask you in an interview, a boss who has very high demands will tiptoe around the issue by asking about your personal hobbies. They are digging for things that take you away from the office for any reason, including children, hobbies or personal engagements.

They use personal pronouns.
Just like a bad date, if the job interview is all about the interviewer, it’s not going to be a good position to be in. You will not be viewed as a colleague, but as a delegate for completing their tasks. And if you don’t make them happy, they’ll make your life miserable.

You don’t get straight answers.
A leader who can’t give honest answers to a potential manager is not going to be efficient at leading you on the job either. This is particularly true if they have to pause to think about why a past employee left the job or transitions with previous managers.

They do other things even while you’re speaking.
This is the most frustrating bad habit of anyone. However, an unfocused leader is inexcusable. During an interview, they should maintain eye contact and pay attention to your answers.  While many companies strive to implement a mobile strategy for leaders, an executive who fiddles with their phone at crucial times is not someone you want to work with.

How they treat others around you.
Body language can tell you quite a bit about how a staff feels about their boss. If people around them simply nod politely without saying hello, it might be a sign that you don’t want to work with or under this leader. They should politely engage with colleagues, not just walk by them.

When you consider your next job move, make sure you keep in mind 11 features of a bad boss so that you can avoid working with one. Likewise, if you see yourself exhibiting any of the habits of a bad boss, it’s time to get executive coaching so you can really make a change.




Larry Seal is an experienced Executive Coach, Facilitator, and Speaker with over 20 years experience working with senior and executive level teams. For executive coaching needs, corporate development and improved leadership skills, contact Larry Seal today!

One Response to “11 Features of a Boss from Hell and How Leaders Can Avoid Them”

  1. […] rather most people seemed upset about being micromanaged. After all, most of us would describe a boss from hell as the one who micromanages constantly, so why would we want that in a mayor? But regardless of […]

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