Most of us who have been working for some time will have classified the bosses we have had as bad bosses and good bosses.
There are many types of bad bosses who possess different variations of annoying personality traits ranging from being aloof, egotistical, thoughtless, bad-tempered and more.
London Business School management and strategy expert Professor Julian Birkinshaw says that employees are often fascinated with talking about how bad their bosses are because bad boss behaviour tends to provoke moral outrage in workers. Just like policemen, bosses are authority figures who have a responsibility for others, and are thus required to have better behaviour too.
In his new book Becoming a Better Boss, Professor Birkinshaw explains how bad managers can be defined. Using the concept of the 7 deadly sins, employees can rate how bad their boss' behaviour actually is.
However, he also cautions against focusing too much on the negative characteristics of your manager. While it is good to know what is wrong with a bad boss' attitude, employees must also use their bosses as a source of insight into how they should not behave.
Furthermore, people have a tendency to emphasise the negative elements of a manager's personality when it involves failing to perform a task, Birkinshaw says. Hence, employees might not have a very accurate perception of their bosses as their views are often skewed by how successful they think the manager is.
Another reason why we should not focus too much on bad boss behaviour is that what is defined as good or bad "depends on the personality and working style of the employee", he says. So what may seem like bad boss behaviour to you could actually be a positive trait for another person on your team.
If you are still undecided about whether your boss is a terrible boss, see how many deadly sins your boss is guilty of in Birkinshaw's guide to the 7 deadly sins of management.
Julian Birkinshaw's Becoming a Better Boss is now in bookstores. Check out http://josseybassbusiness.com/assessments for a free online assessment.
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