Are You A Bully Boss?

The relationship between a boss and their employees is vital to the well-being of the organization. As a leader, you must respect your employees as much as they respect you. Your organization wouldn’t run without your subordinates, who are working to help make your company stand out.

While many managers understand the concept of mutual respect and apply it in the real-work environment, others simply don’t. Without noticing, they become bullies. They don’t encourage employees, they only criticize.

If you’re wondering whether you’re becoming a bully, here is a checklist. You can draw a conclusion based on your answers. Having the courage to take the initiative to do this already shows that you’re not actually a bully; but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of how a bully boss acts.

1. You criticize destructively

Feedback is great but criticism is destructive. Here are some of the most important differences between the two.

Feedback Criticism
is helpful, focuses on intention, does not judge is destructive, focuses on blaming, judges
is corrective and compassionate points fingers
evaluates blames

Checkpoint:
Are you focusing on the intention of correcting someone and helping them get better or are you criticizing for personal gain?
Is your feedback constructive and wrapped in compassion or are you blaming your employees for their actions?

2. You’re not confident as a person

If you are insecure as a leader you might have bully tendencies. You strive to become more secure and confident by belittling other people. Your dominance over others gives you a sense of purpose and importance. You’re feeding on other people’s discouragement.

Checkpoint:
Are you a confident leader or do you belittle others for your own gain?
Respecting others is the first step to becoming a better leader!

3. People are leaving your office

If staff is leaving or considering leaving the firm because of you, you’re not doing something right. The work environment must change and that begins with your own change. When employees are unsatisfied with how they’re treated, they either complain to HR or quit. If your HR department doesn’t resolve the problems, then employees will definitely leave.

Checkpoint:
How do employees view their work environment?
Is your HR department attentive to problems?

4. You don’t respect anti-bullying policies

If your company has serious anti-bullying policies but you don’t respect them, you should not be allowed in the workplace. Being the boss gives you an advantage over others. You could break the rules and never be caught, but that’s bullying right there.

Checkpoint:
Do you respect your company’s anti-bullying policies?
Are you familiar with what they are and how they work?
Have you ever crossed the line? If so, will you correct it?

5. You’re not a role model

Good leaders are powerful role models. Employees look up to them and learn from them constantly. Effective leadership comes from analyzing one’s behavior and changing actions in accordance with the staff’s needs. If you intimidate and scare employees away, you are not being a good leader or an effective role model. You’re simply showing your staff how not to behave.

Checkpoint:
Do employees look up to you?
Are you helping them learn and develop?

6. You don’t think you get enough respect

Shouting, getting angry, disrespecting others, harassing (uhm… bullying) won’t get you anywhere. What you put into something is exactly what you will get out of it. If you don’t respect others, they won’t respect you.

Checkpoint:
How do you approach your colleagues?
Do you respect them?
Do you make efforts to communicate with them?
Do you have open dialogues?

7. You take credit for other people’s work

Another sign that you’re a bully boss is by taking credit for other people’s work. No staff member likes to be disrespected in this way, especially by their boss. Do not take credit for your employees’ ideas. This shows a lack of respect and dignity.

Checkpoint:
Have you ever taken credit for your employees’ ideas?
If so, how will you correct it? (Hint hint: Apologizing would be a good start.)

8. You undermine your employees’ work

You are definitely bullying your staff by deliberately undermining their work – putting off projects or delaying progress intentionally, and then blaming them for it. You are literally abusing their goodwill.

Checkpoint:
Are you showing support towards your employees or are you making their lives a nightmare?

9. You don’t trust your employees

Poor leaders do not trust their employees with any responsibilities because they simply don’t think that they’re capable of handling work by themselves. If you take away their duties to ‘ensure that the work is done right,’ that is bullying.

Checkpoint:
Have you ever taken responsibilities away from an employee because you thought they ‘couldn’t handle it?’

Wrapping Up

Go through each of these checkpoints and write down your honest answers; then check to see how many ‘yes’ answers you have. Congratulate yourself for taking the time to check if you’re a bully boss. If you are – make the effort to change by showing kindness and compassion to your employees.

Start being a good role model today!

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