We’ve all had them. Managers that make your life difficult. These managers are mean, bossy, unfair, and lack a certain amount of empathy. This often leads fellow employees wondering how they even became a manager in the first place.
But now, it is your turn. The tables have turned. You’ve just been promoted to a management position. Suddenly, you must face the pitfalls and hidden traps of being in a leading role. Management can feel like a constant catch 22. If you’re too nice, employees will take advantage of you. But if you’re too mean, they won’t hesitate to throw you under the proverbial bus. As you try to avoid these negative repercussions, you may find yourself asking will you be a bad manager?
There are numerous ways to fail at management. Partially because of the many misconceptions about what a good manager should look like. We can sit back from an employee perspective and point out everything our manager is doing wrong. But from a management perspective, much of what we’re pointing out becomes a gray area. For instance, most employees can agree that a manager should be flexible. But as a manager, finding the line between flexibility and being taken advantage of can change based upon the situation, or in some cases, based on the employee.
Finding the management style that works best for you in your new role is a process. It will take a while to figure out. In the meantime, here are some management styles you should work to avoid.
3 Types of Bad Managers
1. The Pushover
At first glance, the pushover can seem like a cool person to have around. She gets along with all of her employees. She goes out of her way to make sure they are all happy. The pushover understands when you rolled out of bed late and arrive an hour tardy for work. She even accepts deadline extensions for important projects.
Although the pushover is great for some situations, unfortunately, she can be exceptionally difficult for others. For instance, because of her hands off and relaxed attitude, she expects employees to come to her with problems. This means they can fester out of control before she steps in and manages the situation. Additionally, she may be hesitant to deal with poor employees, which can be a real drain on team morale and functionality.
2. The Stick in the Mud
Perhaps the opposite of the pushover is the stick in the mud. The lack of flexibility seeps into every aspect of management ranging from project objectives to lunch breaks. Although on the surface, this management style seems as though it will focus employees and bring about positive improvements in workflow, frequently, it does just the opposite. The stick in the mud’s control over the expected direction and outcome of projects tends to stifle creativity within the workplace. This will likely limit innovations and new ideas that can revolutionize the office.
3. The Fear Mongerer
Maybe the worst of all managers is the fear mongerer. She might have the right level of flexibility when it comes to scheduling and project creativity. But that doesn’t stop her from making employees feel as though it isn’t worth the risk to take time off or propose new ideas. Crude jokes about getting fired for failing are no way to motivate employees and have actually been shown to decrease productivity.
Furthermore, the fear mongerer is most likely to decrease employee happiness. It may not seem like much to maintain employee happiness. But, rates of job satisfaction have been linked to increased productivity, innovation, and sales within the workplace. In fact, some of the most productive companies in the world also have the highest rates of employee happiness around.
Making the jump into a management position and navigating the challenges of leadership is not an easy task. It may take some time to find the correct management style of you and your employees, but by avoiding these three management types, you are on the right track.