Are You too Nice of a Boss? 3 Signs to Look Out For and What to Do if it’s True

at work
Image by: By Nguyen Vu Hung
By Richard K. Noots

There’s nothing wrong with empathy or kindness. As a society, these should really be at the foremost of our attention when dealing with our fellow people. However, in a work relationship, sometimes things can get … A little wonky. No one likes someone who always tells them what to do, but if no one had a boss would anything ever get done? Existentialism aside, these matters can create a bit of a problem on our daily grind.

Being a good boss does require a degree of compassion and sensitivity to others’ needs. Like a parent though, this can demand that you sometimes utilize a firm voice or hand (Euphemism!) to get your point across. It can be hard to be objective about yourself when you deal with your fellow employees; we generally think of ourselves as the voice of reason no matter where we go. On that same token, it can also be hard to see when people are being nice to your face, and laughing behind your back.

So, perhaps you’ve become a bit of a walking mat these days. It’s OK. We have some things that you should look at for as you live life like a boss. IF you find one or more of these things applying to you, don’t worry. We’ve got solutions that’ll make your life easier!

#1) Deadlines Are Not Met

Having employees miss deadlines here and there isn’t always the biggest deal. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons that need to be taken in account. If it’s happening with multiple people, or there is a certain amount of consistency among certain workers, then there could be a problem. If a boss gives too much slack, certain people will begin to use that to their advantage to give them extra time to do … Whatever. This is a problem that tends to grow like a hydra as well.

The only way to solve this problem is to bring the hammer down, so to speak. Especially if you notice repeat offenses from the same employee. It’s time to show them that they need to take this job, and you, seriously. This will depend on your company’s policy of how to reprimand employees, but definitely move towards the path that shows you are here to get the job done, and if they won’t help you’ll just have to find a person who will.

#2) You’re the laughing stock of the company!

OK, it may not be that bad, but do you find yourself getting more and more jokes at your expense than you used to? Do people laugh when you walk by or make snarky comments when you’re trying to be serious? This can be a huge problem, because an open platform of disrespect can be a breeding ground for future issues.

This one you’ll want to handle personally. Make sure you know the full grounds of what actions you’re capable of given any situation involving disgruntled employees as well. You’ll want to take these people aside and explain to them that their actions aren’t acceptable. If they were acting the same way towards any other employee, you’d have no choice but to handle the situation appropriately. Why should it be any different when you’re involved personally?

#3) You’re being ignored.

When something needs to get done and you delegate it, do your employees accomplish it? When you make a suggestion or criticism, do they walk away? If your words are going unheeded, this can be the sign of a larger problem within your company. To earn the complete disrespect of a person is no small feat, but the situation is one that needs immediate damage control.

Don’t dance around the issue. You’ll have to confront them directly. Be corrigible if necessary, but direct with any issues. If there are legitimate problems with how you are doing things, it’s something that needs to be confronted and handled, not toyed with like a child.

And that is key to being a boss. You see, it’s entirely possible that you could just be a lousy boss. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. The people you’ve employed a direct representation of how you run your business. So use them! If you notice any of these problems developing, act quickly. Talk to any fellow managers you may have working with you as well. Learn where you might be doing things wrong that are making your workers rebel against you.

The only wrong way to handle these issues is with inaction. So get ready to step up on what is actually the hardest part of being a boss: making people follow your command because they want to, not because they have to.

What ways have you dealt with headstrong employees? Have you had a boss that made you act similarly? What made you act out towards your boss, and did he fix it? If not, what could he have done?