Being a leader requires a fair amount of responsibility and determination, regardless of the environment in which you are taking on a leadership role. It is easy to point to a list of ideal traits that must be exemplified by an effective leader, as this individual will want to set an example while simultaneously taking charge and making important decisions.
With this notion in mind, there are also many traits and habits that can turn an ideal leader into a poor one. Here are five traits of a bad leader.
An obvious sign of a poor leader is inconsistency. In most workplaces, progression and growth is usually spurred by a collective “stick-to-your-guns” mentality. If you are a wishy-washy leader, you will likely bring your team down and stunt the office’s climb to its goals as a result of your indecisive decision making .
Poor communication
Transparency is key in just about any employee/leader relationship. As a leader, you must remain connected to your workplace and to your employees, being as honest and straightforward as possible when it comes to goals, challenges, and office issues. Not only will this approach keep your employees happy, it will likely give them a boost in motivation as they strive to do the best job possible.
A lack of empathy
A leader must be sure to stand his or her ground when giving in to employee issues that may be rooted in matters outside the office. However, it is important to keep a healthy amount of empathy in your employee relations. If an employee is having a bad day and is underperforming, ask that employee if he or she is okay before you jump right into a reprimanding process. You want your employees to see you as a human being with an important role, not as an emotionless dictator.
It can be easy to succumb to megalomania once you have landed a leadership role — after all, your responsibilities likely include spearheading a full office, company, or initiative, and while this notion can be exciting, it can be detrimental to your leadership demeanor if left unchecked. Do not let cockiness or your own ego get the better of you. Instead, swallow your pride and remember to allocate praise and reverence among your employees and co-workers. As the old adage goes, “there is no ‘I’ in team.”
Excessive aggression
Keeping the previous section in mind, it can also be easy to allow your newfound power to fuel a toxic amount of workplace aggression. If, for instance, your office is on pace to miss its goals for the month, your personal frustration with this matter may be exposed as aggressive outbursts towards employees you have decided to scapegoat. In these situations, take a deep breath, break the issue down in your head, and keep yourself calm and focused. All an aggressive approach will do is hold everyone else back and damage internal relationships.