Here are ways to improve a bad boss

Let´s remember the seven main features of a BAD BOSS: 

• Bad or lack of communication or expectation for mind reader abilities from the employees
• Avoiding responsibility for a team`s fault or taking credit for someone else`s findings
• Different attitudes when the boss is in and out
• Bullying: Yelling, exaggeration or constant violent reprimands
• Overly friendly situations
• Small or no healthy eye contact
• Severe negativity and critique

Now let´s try to find positive turns to make these go away.  Here are some options to try and turn each one of the above weaknesses (that`s what they are) into a managerial strength:

1. Communication skills can be improved by deciding on different and constant communication methods: maybe early 10-minute meetings every day to educate your team on what the boss has in mind, or the company`s ideals, memos, or even P2P monthly meetings for feedback.

2. Avoiding responsibility means fear from failure, and taking credit for others’ efforts means lack of self-confidence. This can be solved if the boss is fully involved into guiding the team and knowing the productivity and efficiency. This is easily arranged by following step 1 and maybe adding a productivity or goal-reaching monthly report.

3. To avoid the employees showing off different attitudes when the boss is present or not, the easiest thing to do is to make up teams and have them in reaching goals. This way, there will always be someone in charge when the boss is gone and the boss will not only get there to  put out fires or hang the infidels.

4. When points 1 and 3 are applied, bullying will go away naturally, there will be no need for harsh reactions to obtain positive environment and productivity out of the employees.

5. Overly friendly situations often turn into harassment or lack of respect towards and from the boss, so keeping a positive friendship with the employees, keeping it professional, and staying in that area is the best way to proceed. One or more talks will be necessary with a few workers if the friend zone has been established, but a good worker will always understand, if a proper explanation is given. Talking resolves pretty much everything here.

6. The lack of eye contact represents fear, but if the bullying part is gone, then there will be good business family communication, and this will translate into group chemistry for positive results, therefore, eye contact will be related to attention, interest and the intrinsic need to help the coworkers and boss reach the company goals.

7. When steps 1 and 6 have been put into the picture, then negativity and critique will banish and turn into positive and constructive critique. However, a boss and employees should always think before they talk and always refer to others and to problems in a positive and extra human way. That means that the problem should never be personal, but a situation or conflict external to the persons involved. This way, any conflict will have a fast and proper solution.

Remember that one can only manage those things that can be measured. Any information to be used in decision-making needs to be accurate, functional, representative and realistic. Never hesitate to ask a professional for help or guidance and, better yet, before big fires need to be put out. Remember that problems exist to be solved, and always be a part of the solution. Stay dynamic and flexible to change and adapt positively.

* Ms. Morales is an engineer with a master’s of business administration specializing in business strategy and development. She is a principal in CEDAD Asesores and can be reached at

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