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6 Telltale Signs That You Might Be a Bad Leader

Nunavath is a content writer who enjoys reading professional development books.


Leadership can be one of the most difficult challenges you face in your career, and there are so many opinions about what constitutes good leadership. However, there are certain telltale signs that you might be doing it wrong – no matter how much good you think you have. It's time to take a long, hard look at your leadership abilities with this list of six telltale signs that you might be a bad leader.

1) You never admit your mistakes

When you're a leader, your job is to show people how to work through and around problems. The whole point of having leaders is so that there are always people in place who have already figured out solutions to common difficulties. But bad leaders have no use for advice. Instead, they focus on blaming others when things go wrong and making excuses when things go right. This one-sidedness is pretty much what makes bad leadership possible—and it won't change until an actual leader steps up and takes responsibility for their own mistakes.

2) People are afraid to talk to you about problems.

Some say you're handcuffing your team, and others say that you are micromanaging. But if people are afraid to bring up concerns with you, there may be a more serious issue. This is especially true if you have an employee who doesn't like conflict – maybe because he/she lacks social skills or has been treated poorly in other jobs (since it's easy to dismiss them). As some might put it: Bad leadership starts at home. While it is not always bad to be tough on your employees, sometimes management needs to understand how their decisions affect their team.

3) The blame game

When you play the blame game, you're not actually addressing an issue. Instead, you're saying it's not your fault because someone else did something wrong. For example, if a colleague challenges your idea, rather than explain why he or she might be wrong and revising your proposal accordingly, you could say I thought I was clear on that, or. You didn't get it because _____. Sound familiar? If so, stop playing amateur psychologist and start trying to understand others' point of view without becoming defensive.

4) Passive-aggressive behavior

telling people what to do and then blaming them when they don't comply or giving one-sided critiques are both passive-aggressive moves that communicate distrust. As an employee, if you're feeling harassed, there's no reason to feel guilty about calling out someone else on their bad behavior—it's your boss' job to create an environment where you can trust and respect each other. And while it might seem appropriate to present constructive criticism as objectively as possible, bad leaders often use it as a way of masking their own weaknesses. If you notice someone is frequently critical, but less than specific in terms of why and how things could be improved, chances are good that they're making up for personal shortcomings.

5) Lack of communication

If you tend to avoid asking your team for input, and you're always dictating what work needs to be done and how it should be done, then your employees may have one of two reactions. They could follow along with what you're saying and simply not care about their job, or they could act out in subtle ways like becoming disengaged or coming up with excuses to avoid work. Ultimately, if no one is listening to you, then no one will respect you. Take time to ask your team members how they feel about what's going on in their jobs so that they can feel heard.

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6) A way or the highway attitude

When you take charge, there is a tendency to believe that your way is better than everyone else's. But in order to become a great leader, you need to be open-minded and accepting of other people's opinions. By considering other viewpoints, you give your followers' confidence in their work, making them more likely to succeed. In order to inspire others, step back and really consider their thoughts and suggestions. It will pay off big time!

© 2022 Nunavath Kiran Nayak

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