5 Toxic Habits That Will Make You A Bad Manager

by Chandler Barr Oct 24,2017

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Often, there are few habits that seem harmless to you as a manager.

After all, you theorize you are not actually doing anything wrong or hurting anyone. Maybe, you are just trying to bring your team closer together. Or maybe, you’re just trying to be a strict manager. However, there is a line between a harmless habit and a toxic one. Take a look at these 5 habits that undermine your authority as a manager and will cause your direct reports to lose faith in you!

Creating a clique

Do you want to bring your team closer? Do you want to foster some team spirit and imitate that easy-going camaraderie most high-performing teams seem to have? One way to do it is to ensure that your team members depend on no one other than each other and you. But is that the right way? Not necessarily. What you are doing is creating a clique. And within an office, no one likes a clique.

Cliques take us back to high school and it’s not something you should aspire to replicate in an office. When you are in a clique, members are prone to groupthink and tend to focus more on preventing others from getting into the group. It becomes an unhealthy work environment for people who work in the surrounding areas. No one team is better than the other. And creating a clique is a surefire way to prove that you are not cut out to be a manager.

Hounding your employees every move

No employee is going to like a manager who breathes down their neck 24/7. That kind of hovering is better left to security systems and CCTV cameras. Don’t dog their every move, noting when they come to the desk, how many times they leave their desk, what they eat during lunch, how many times they use the restroom etc. Employees don’t have to account for every minute of the day that they are at the office.  They are only accountable for their work and trying to follow them every minute of the day is only going to alienate them, not make them more cognizant of how they spend their time.

Also Read: What Exactly You Should Do When Blindsided By Negative Feedback

Stalking employees on social media

This is another big no-no. Use social media to see how they present themselves, especially if they are in a client-service role, marketing role etc. But beyond that, don’t stalk their social media pages and intimately acquaint yourself with what they were doing in December of 2007 when on vacation with their friends. Not only is it creepy to find out that your manager has been stalking your profile, but it’s even more creepy to find out that they remember everything and even worse, are commenting upon it. Maintain boundaries when it comes to social media. No one’s feelings are going to be hurt if you don’t friend them or follow them on social media.

Bad mouthing the organization constantly in front of your team

No matter how much you feel like venting about the organization, how it’s mishandling matters, and how it’s not promoting the right people, don’t do it in front of your team members. They look up to you and complaining about the organization to them is wrong because one, they don’t know the whole story, and two, they don’t need to know. Venting once or twice in a moment of anger is acceptable. However, it’s not a thing that should be repeated time and time again because it’s a surefire way to lose the respect of your direct reports.

Also Read: Was Your 360 Degree Feedback Program A Failure

Appearing insecure to your team members

All of us have insecurities. Even managers and leaders are not immune to bouts of crippling insecurity. However, the onus of boosting a manager’s shaky self-esteem is not on his or her employees. Employees can reassure them once or twice they cannot constantly provide reassurance. Firstly, it is not in their job description. Secondly, it becomes exhausting for them. It would be exhausting for anyone, in fact. When you suffer from self-esteem issues that impede your day-to-day functioning, seek help from someone who is suited to helping you instead of looking to your direct reports.

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Chandler Barr
VP of Sales

Chandler Barr is the VP of Sales at Engagedly and is focused on driving a culture of progress over perfection in a no-fault environment where employees are secure and encouraged to think creatively to solve problems. Chandler is a seasoned leader that has scaled sales teams for SaaS startups and multibillion-dollar publicly traded tech companies, as well as, led Marines to accomplish the mission during hardships overseas.

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