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How to spot the worst types of manager

Could David Brent exist after all?

As we make the transition from the playground to the workplace, we wipe our brows with relief. No longer will we have to endure the classroom bully, the scary teacher or the manipulative friend; however, the world of work can throw up unexpected challenges when dealing with a certain type of boss.

The challenge for the human resources department in any organisation is to foster good leadership. Happy employees arise from positive relationships with their managers and this is the most important factor in determining the success of an employee’s career.

Unfortunately, more than half of the issues dealt with by HR concern the fallout between the boss and the employee. Unhappy staff affect performance levels, with more than one in five workers stating that the behaviour of their boss has a negative impact on their productivity and outcomes.

This can have a lasting effect on an employee’s performance, with some failing to recover for five years or more. Let’s take a closer look at the worst type of boss – perhaps the truth is closer than you think.

First is the boss, otherwise known as the crooked politician, who cleverly lulls you into collaboration with his dubious working practices. This is the smooth-talking leader who soothes you into immoral behaviour with his clever linguistic ways. Whilst you may go along with this at the time, the ultimate outcome is that you become demotivated and disillusioned.

Once a bully, always a bully, but the adult workplace version is considerably more objectionable and career damaging. The aggressor at work is out for one thing only – personal success at the expense of anyone else. For those who may be standing in the way of this personal agenda, the outlook is bleak; once again, the long-term effects on employees and output are damaging.

The micromanaging boss is ultimately a control freak. They probably don’t mean to ruin your life, but they just can’t let go; after all, they once did the job their staff are doing now. They have to involve themselves in every stage of the working process, perhaps because they feel a little insecure.

The workaholic boss is on the rise with the issue of work-life balance influencing modern working practice. There is plenty of evidence to show that the working week is becoming longer; in fact, we are apparently working for 11 hours longer per week than in the 1970s. The consequences lead to early burn-out, so beware the boss who increasingly makes demands on your free time.

Finally, there is the boss who fails to recognise the unspoken boundaries. They want to be your friend; forever and always. Woe betide being sucked into the emotionally demanding nature of this relationship, which could see you sinking faster than the Titanic.

Hopefully, you have failed to identify any of the above in your organisation – not least in yourself.

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