9 Qualities the Least-Liked Bosses Have in Common

Angry Boss and Stressed Employee


AnnaMarie Houlis
AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger
While some bosses are subtly toxic, others are more blatant in their poor behavior. Despite how subtle or obvious they are, however, there are some qualities that all bad bosses have in common.
Here are nine tendencies of the least-liked bosses.

1. They micromanage.

No one likes a micromanager — the kind of boss who is always hovering over you while you do your work, or who needs to be CC'ed on every email so that they can keep an eye on you. Here's how to handle a micromanaging boss if you're dealing with one in the workplace.

2. They condescend.

A condescending boss is someone who belittles their staff or who talks down to those around them. This shows a complete lack of respect for others. Even though you're their subordinante, they should still show respect — after all, they'd hired you hopefully because they trusted your experience and skills.

3. They don't lead by example.

A boss should be a leader, and a leader should lead by example. Bosses who show up late to work, disregard the company culture, talk over others in meetings, leave work to the last minute, etc. do not show the qualities of a productive leader. That kind of behavior, of course, can spill over in the workplace and let others know that it's OK to act that way, too.

4. They don't show recognition of or appreciation for hard work.

The least-liked bosses neither show recognition of hard work, nor show appreciation for hard work. While they shouldn't feel inclined to reward everyone for doing what's expected of them, it is nice to feel acknowledged for your efforts now and again. A good boss understands that positive reinforcement is a tool in their box, as well.

5. They don't respect work-life balance.

Bosses who don't respect work-life balance are those who are always sending late-night emails, calling on the weekends over nothing important and expecting you to work late and odd hours on the regular, despite your other obligations. Work-life balance is important not only for your health but also for the success of the company so that you don't burn yourself out. 

6. They discriminate.

The least-likable bosses are those who discriminate against people in the office for race, gender, age, disabilities, faith and more. A boss who shows prejudice is probably breaking the company code of conduct and they're definitely breaking the law.

7. They make meetings that could have been an email.

Meetings take up a lot of time in many people's days. So a boss who makes meetings to talk about meetings or meetings that could have been covered in an email is one who doesn't make an efficient use of the company's time. And this can irk a lot of employees who already have a lot on their plates.

8. They take credit for your work.

A boss who takes credit for your work or never gives credit where credit is due is not a great leader. A great leader lifts others up with them. Here's how to take credit when it's not given to you.

9. They interrupt.

Interrupting others while they're speaking or budding in every conversation to share their own two cents is not a quality of a good boss. A leader should allow others to share their ideas and participate in open communication that involves just as much (if not more) listening as it does speaking.

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.