1. You micromanage. Nothing makes people feel less valued than when you don’t trust them to do the job they were hired to do. If you want people to believe you think they’re incompetent, by all means, go behind them and revoke their decisions – especially minor ones! When people feel controlled and unappreciated, you rob them of the opportunity to really engage with their work.
2. You leave them hanging. At the other end of the spectrum is the boss who breezes in and out with little to no direction, and who shows no interest in investing in you. They don’t give feedback (or if they do it’s vague and useless), they don’t work with you to find opportunities to grow. They might be perceived as giving employees enough rope to hang with, though these bosses are also often quick to swoop in and scoop up the credit when things go well.
3. You emote excessively. Maybe you watched too many Fred Flintstone cartoons as a child and inadvertently assimilated the hot-tempered Mr. Slade boss schema into your personality. Maybe your mama didn’t raise you right. We don’t know, and we don’t care. Don’t emote at your employees! It is demeaning and demoralizing – not to mention, contagious. It is true that emotions are a fact of life, even at work – but it is also a fact that each one of us bears the responsibility for managing them productively.
4. You don’t care about them. Maybe it isn’t so much that you don’t care about them as people than it is that you forget that they are people, with real lives outside of work and with real emotions, motivations, and aspirations. Uncaring bosses tend to have a rigid, one-cog-fits-all mentality that doesn’t afford flexibility and refuses to make time for the small talk that greases social relationships.
Truth: People need to feel valued and appreciated. People want to do good, meaningful work. People need good bosses to achieve this. Bitter truth: If your employees aren’t feeling the love, in short order they will either vote with their feet or stay put but check out. Unvarnished truth: Increasingly managers and leaders are being held accountable for developing an engaged team of employees. Treating people humanely is both a business necessity and a critical factor in your own success as a manager and leader.
“Hello Peter, what’s happening? Ummm, I’m gonna need you to go ahead come in tomorrow. So if you could be here around 9 that would be great, mmmkay… oh oh! and I almost forgot ahh, I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday too, kay. We ahh lost some people this week and ah, we sorta need to play catch up.” –Bill Lumbergh, Office Space
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