Posted in Work


Guest Post by Brig ® Naeem Ahmad

Bad bosses can be nightmarish and are not very difficult to find. Sometimes in life, therefore, we encounter a bad boss. If you have a good boss, you must thank your stars, give it your best and cherish your job. However, if you have a bad boss, you surely would need to learn to handle him or her.

Bosses are of many kinds, incompetent and harsh, bully, humiliating with mood swings, withholding praise or playing favorites, etc. At one end of the spectrum is a boss with good values and good performance and at the other end is the worst type with bad values and bad performance. In between are two main types, with good values and bad performance and with bad values and good performance.

Let us analyse some difficult types of bosses. The “Screamers” seem to feel they will get their way if they raise their voices to unconscionable levels. Screamers yell at almost everyone, in office, on the road or in the house. They feel that the higher the volume of their voice, the higher is their commitment. However, just the reverse is true. They can demoralize others. Viewing it psychologically, screamers want two things, being heard and recognized. They see other people as either “for them” or “against them”, so you are either their friend or their enemy.

“Fearsome” bosses also exist in many organizations. When bosses rule by fear they tend to loose a lot of people, either they fire them or keep the fear quotient up, or they loose them because good people are not stupid enough to keep working for such a boss. By constant threatening, such bosses turn the place a lousy one to work.

“Manipulators” are some of the most dangerous amongst the difficult bosses. They always have a plan, which is secret. Such bosses can stab you in the back. They usually look at people as a means to an end and they do not care what happens to the people they touch or harm along the way. Often, manipulators are people who do not get along well with others. Many are loners and have learned this simple approach to life. They tend to loose friends, family and spouces. Best solution to working for a manipulator is to be open, honest and forthright.

The first thing to remember is that do not become a victim of a bad boss. This would not only affect your career but also your personality and may be health. Analyse as to why is your boss acting in an abnormal way? May be he is having problems with his boss/owner? Nevertheless, if you are being unnecessarily pressurized, see if you are the cause? If no, do not be defensive. Say clearly, politely but firmly that you are finding it difficult to pull along because of his attitude. See the reaction. Then decide to change your job or seek other remedial measures.

Tackling a bad boss is an art. First solution is an honest analysis of your own actions. How are you doing in your job? Are you on top of your performance or under? Try ignoring distractions created by the boss and focus on your work and simultaneously finding other sources of positive reinforcement. If you have a bad boss, one natural reaction could be that you also become like him and become a source of botheration for your subordinates. Do not let this happen. Try to be a good boss and you will find a positive response from your subordinates.

Some traits of a good boss depending on the type of outfit you are heading are:-

  1.  Be light hearted
  2. Be firm but benevolent
  3. Learn to say ‘no’, to unreasonable demands
  4. Keep a balance between office and domestic life
  5. Try to know the names of as many subordinates a you can. Look into their domestic problems and if possible, help- even if it just a trivial advice.
  6. Have a system of rewards and punishments
  7. Be enthusiastic
  8. Encourage subordinates to come up with new and innovative ideas
  9. Make a happy team
  10. Be a motivator and lead by example


If all I can see is my own shadow, I'm in my own light.

2 thoughts on “BAD BOSS SYNDROME

  1. I like how you separate the different kinds of bosses into types. I have dealt with several of those types, and I feel that manipulators are the worst because they always seem to turn things against you. Good post!

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