The 8 Absolute Worst Habits Of Bad Bosses (And How To Fix Them)

an angry man staring at the whiskey glass
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on

Bad bosses come in all shapes and sizes. They’re found in every industry and every type of organization.

They’re the micro-managers, the bullies, the control freaks, and the know-it-all’s. They’re the ones who always have to be right, who always have to have the last word, and who never see the value in anyone else’s opinion but their own.

Sound familiar? If you’ve ever had a bad boss, you know how frustrating, demotivating, and even soul-crushing it can be. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In this blog post, we’ll explore the eight absolute worst habits of bad bosses – and how they can fix them.

8 Worst Habits of Bad Bosses

yelling formal man watching news on laptop. This represents one of many worst habits of bad bosses at work.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on


One of the most overbearing and irritating habits of a bad boss is micromanaging – the act of excessively monitoring and controlling employees’ work. This can take many forms, from constantly looking over employees’ shoulders to asking for frequent updates on progress to breathing down employees’ necks to make sure they’re working “hard enough.”

Micromanaging is often born out of a fear of failure – the bad boss doesn’t trust their employees to do the job right, so they feel the need to constantly check in and make sure everything is being done “correctly.”

This not only breeds a culture of fear and insecurity, but also stifles creativity, Innovation, and initiative. Employees become afraid to take risks or to try new things, for fear of being chastised or reprimanded.

If you’re a micromanager, the first step is to try to understand why you feel the need to constantly control and monitor your employees. Is it a lack of trust? Fear of failure?

Once you’ve identified the root cause, you can start to address it. If it’s a lack of trust, try to build trust by giving employees more responsibility and autonomy. If it’s a fear of failure, work on developing a “growth mindset” – the belief that failures are opportunities to learn and grow.

It’s also important to give employees the space and freedom to experiment, take risks, and make mistakes. This can be a difficult change to make, but it’s essential if you want to create an environment where creativity and innovation can flourish.


Bad bosses are often negative, pessimistic, and critical. They see the glass as half empty, not half full.

They’re quick to point out what’s wrong and slow to recognize what’s right. This negativity can be contagious, and it can quickly poison an entire team or organization.

If you’re a negative boss, the first step is to try to be more positive. This doesn’t mean you have to be fake or upbeat all the time – it just means being more aware of the way you speak and the way you think about things. When something bad happens, try to find the silver lining. When something good happens, make sure to recognize and celebrate it.

It’s also important to be more encouraging and supportive. When an employee comes to you with a problem, try to be helpful and solution-oriented, rather than critical or negative. And when an employee does something good, make sure to let them know you appreciate it. A little bit of positive reinforcement can go a long way.

Lack of Communication

Communication is crucial in any relationship, and the boss-employee relationship is no exception. But unfortunately, many bosses don’t communicate effectively with their employees.

They might be too busy, too preoccupied, or too wrapped up in their thoughts and concerns. As a result, important information doesn’t get passed down, and employees are left feeling in the dark.

If you’re a boss who struggles with communication, there are a few things you can do to improve. First, make a concerted effort to be more available and approachable. When employees come to you with questions or concerns, take the time to listen, and answer as honestly and candidly as you can.

Be more proactive in your communication. If there are things you need employees to know, don’t wait for them to come to you – send out a company-wide email, or set up a meeting. And make sure to keep the lines of communication open by encouraging employees to give you feedback, and letting them know that you’re open to hearing it.

Laissez-Faire Approach:

A lot of bosses think that the best way to manage employees is to just let them do their thing. They don’t want to get too involved, or be seen as “micro-managing.” So they take a hands-off, laissez-faire approach, and hope that everything will work out for the best.

Unfortunately, this hands-off approach often backfires. Employees need guidance and direction, and without it, they can quickly become lost and confused. This can lead to frustration and resentment, and it can eventually lead to employees leaving the company altogether.

If you’re a boss who struggles to give guidance, the first step is to try to be more conscious and deliberate about it. When you’re giving employees assignments, take the time to explain what you want them to do, and why you want them to do it. Be as specific as possible, and provide any resources or information that might be helpful.

Check-in with employees regularly, to see how they’re doing and to offer help if they need it. And when employees make mistakes, try to use it as an opportunity to teach, rather than to scold.

Unreasonable Demands

Bad Boss Comic Strip.

Bad bosses often make unreasonable demands on their employees. They might expect them to work long hours, to be available 24/7, or to put in extra time on weekends and holidays. They might also make unrealistic deadlines, or expect employees to do things that are outside of their job description.

This can create a lot of stress and anxiety for employees, and it can quickly lead to burnout. It’s also important to remember that employees are human beings, not machines – and as such, they need time to rest, recharge, and rejuvenate.

If you’re a boss who struggles with making reasonable demands, the first step is to try to be more aware of your employees’ needs and limitations. When you’re making assignments, take the time to consider how much time and energy it will realistically take to complete them. And when you’re setting deadlines, try to give employees enough time to do a good job, without putting undue stress and pressure on them.

It’s also important to remember that employees need time off and that they shouldn’t be expected to work all the time. Encourage employees to take vacation days, and respect their need for personal time and space.

Personable but Not Professional:

Some bosses are very personable, but they don’t always act professional. They might tell off-color jokes, gossip about other employees, or share personal information that’s not appropriate for the workplace.

While it’s important to be personable and to build relationships with employees, it’s also important to remember that there are boundaries that need to be respected. When you’re at work, try to keep things on a professional level, and save the personal stuff for after hours.

It’s also important to be mindful of the way you speak to and about other employees. If you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t say it behind their back. And if you wouldn’t want someone to say it about you, don’t say it about others.

Failing to Delegate:

One of the worst habits of a bad boss is failing to delegate. They might try to do everything themselves, or they might micromanage employees to the point that they’re afraid to take any initiative. As a result, employees end up feeling unimportant and undervalued, and the boss ends up feeling overwhelmed and overworked.

If you’re a boss who struggles to delegate, try to be more aware of your limitations. You can’t do everything yourself, and you shouldn’t try to. Identify the things that only you can do, and focus your energy on those.

Trust your employees and give them the responsibility and autonomy to do their jobs. When you delegate, make sure to give employees clear instructions and expectations. And then, let them get to work.

Not Showing Appreciation:

One of the most important things a boss can do is to show appreciation for their employees. This can be in the form of a sincere compliment, a thank-you note, or a small token of appreciation.

But unfortunately, many bosses fail to do this. They might be too busy, too preoccupied, or too wrapped up in their thoughts and concerns. As a result, employees can start to feel invisible, unappreciated, and undervalued.

If you’re a boss who struggles to show appreciation, try to be more conscious and deliberate about it. When you see an employee doing a good job, make sure to let them know you notice and appreciate it. A little bit of positive reinforcement can go a long way.

Be more specific in your compliments. Rather than just saying “good job,” try to identify what the employee did that you appreciated, and why you appreciate it. This will not only make the compliment more meaningful, but it will also help the employee to understand what you value, and what you expect from them.

Take Away: Worst Habits of Bad Bosses

Bad bossed need our help!

They display a variety of terrible habits that make them difficult to work for. These include micromanaging, being disrespectful, and taking credit for the work of others.

8 Absolute worst habits of bad bosses:

  1. Micromanaging
  2. Negativity
  3. Lack of communication
  4. Laissez-Faire approach
  5. Unreasonable demands
  6. Personable but not professional
  7. Failing to delegate
  8. Not showing appreciation

Bad bosses need your help to fix these.

If you know someone who is struggling to lead by example, share this article to help. And subscribe to my weekly newsletter on LinkedIn for more helpful tips on creating happier workplaces. Thank You.

By Nitesh Verma

Founder - Business Management Blog. I am an independent business strategy consultant, helping companies take data driven business decisions. My mission is to find and implement simple solutions for complex business problems.

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