Identifying the Bad Boss

In the workplace today, there are many managers and bosses who, to put it bluntly, aren’t very nice people. In fact, the word jerk could certainly be used to describe them.

The question is, if you are applying for a job, how can you be sure your boss won’t turn out to be a jerk? How can you avoid the jerk boss?

Business entrepreneur and consultant Guy Kawasaki has a few suggestions. Just as the company will be checking your references, you should check the references of your future boss as well, he says. You can do this by using social media. You can use LinkedIn to find if you have any common connections, and you can use the LinkedIn reference tool to find people who know the person.

There are several characteristics that will help you identify a bad boss, and these are the things you should check on, according to management consultant Bob Sutton.

First, how does the person deal with people above and below him? The bad boss tends to be obsequious to those who are above him, while being callous toward those who are under him.

How does the person deal with criticism? A bad boss is usually very good at dishing it out but doesn’t respond to criticism well at all.

Another trait of a bad boss is someone who has trouble controlling his temper. He also is the kind of person who will come down on the person who brings him or her bad news.

A bad boss also usually doesn’t work well in a team environment. He likes to take all the credit, while refusing to take any blame. He infects the team with complaints and backbiting. So, one question to ask people who know him is, would you pick this person to be on your team?

Another thing to ask about is email. The jerk also tends to be a jerk in his email messages, flaming, copying everybody to make sure he’s got himself covered.

How well does the person share information? A bad boss tends to keep information to himself, unwilling to share it, because he sees others as competitors that he must overcome so that he can get ahead.

This is just one type of obvious bad boss. What types have you encountered in your career?

If you currently work for a bad boss in Anchorage, Seattle, Tacoma, Chicago, Portland, or Lake Oswego and are looking to move on, contact a recruiter at the Opti Staffing Group. We can help you find a great job with some of these cities’ top employers. Contact us today!

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