We all want to be respected in the workplace – but not everyone knows how to garner genuine respect. Demanding that respect from your employees and being domineering is one of the most damaging approaches to leadership.
What traits do employees dislike in their leaders, and how can you avoid being the kind of manager employees dread?
1: You take all the credit
When things are going well and business is good, are you the kind of leader who takes all the credit for that success? Do you celebrate your own brilliance, rather than giving praise where it’s due when your team has performed well?
Great leaders praise their employees, celebrating successes and recognising the work other people put in to every win, as a team.
2: You dish out the blame
Contrary to point one, where you might hog all the praise, if things don’t go well do you put the weight of the blame on other people’s shoulders?
Great leaders acknowledge their own failings, and work on their own growth and development as well as that of the teams they lead.
3: You’re aggressive
Is your first instinct when you’re challenged to dominate, bully and belittle? Do you feel important and successful only if everyone knows you’re in charge?
Great leaders are aware that their greatness doesn’t come from making others feel small.
4: You don’t listen
Is every great idea within your organisation your own? Do you roll your eyes at the mere idea of feedback from your workforce?
Great leaders give every member of the team the chance to voice ideas, and take those recommendations on board, allowing everyone to give feedback on the way things are done.
5: You don’t pull your weight
Do you swan in and out at times that suit you, letting other people do all the hard work and taking no responsibility for the day to day running of the business?
Great leaders set the right example, leading from the fore with a strong work ethic and passion for what they do, which others can respect and replicate in their own work.
6: You don’t know what you’re doing…
Did you get the job because you put the years in, worked your way up and trained as hard as you could for the role…or were you just in the right place at the right time? Nothing upsets people more than a clueless boss, who somehow blagged the top job but has no idea how to do it well.
Whatever your background, leadership requires many skills – and a leader who invests in their own development is setting a great example to their employees – as well as learning new methodologies to better lead and support their team.
7: …But you’re convinced that you do
Even worse than a leader who doesn’t know how to do their job, is a leader who is absolutely convinced that they do – and blunders ahead, making mistake after mistake and shouting down anyone who offers negative feedback or alternative methods.
Great leaders know their limits. Nobody wants to think they are bad at their job, but if you close yourself off from learning opportunities, your business and industry will move on without you, and you’ll get left behind – dragging your team back with you.
8: You’re cocky
Are you full of tales of your own brilliance, and keen to be sure that everyone knows it? Do you want everyone in your employ to admire your shiny car, expensive suit and flashy holidays? Do you want to brag about how much you earn and make sure everyone knows you’re bigger, better and shinier than they are?
Great leaders are capable of humility – confident in their abilities, but without the need to show off about their strengths. Don’t try to make yourself look big and important – people will respect you far more if they can see how hard you work for what you have.
9: You belittle people
As well as bragging, do you go out of your way to make those who have less feel bad about it? Do you taunt your employees when they don’t meet a target, or harass them when a mistake has been made? Do your workforce fear coming to you with bad news because you’ll make them feel like they are a failure, who doesn’t deserve their role?
Great leaders recognise that mistakes are made, and work with their team to find a solution. If your team can’t trust you to react sensibly and practically to bad news, then you’ll never have an honest interaction with any of them, and you’ll never truly know what’s happening in your organisation, or how it could be done better.
10: You ignore the realities
A cocky, arrogant leader is so full of their own brilliance, and sure that their way is right no matter what, that they can block any actual success or development in the organisation. A refusal to be humble and admit you might be wrong can see you losing clients, blowing budgets, and damaging relationships left right and centre – which is never good for you, or your brand.
Great leaders are on top of the truth – even if the truth is hard to take – and will listen to the whole team to understand the best approach, best practice and best direction for the organisation – even when that means saying “I was wrong” and taking a step back, letting someone else take charge of some scenarios.