The Boss Show

Workplace wisdom with heart and humor

March 7, 2013

Convincing Your Boss That S/he Sucks

By Steve Motenko

Problem with most bad bosses is that they don’t know they’re bad bosses.  If you have one, you’re nodding your head, right?

Why don’t they know they’re bad bosses?  Probably two reasons:

  • They lack self-awareness / are in denial
  • Their coworkers aren’t telling them

Telling your boss she’s a bad boss is not generally considered a brilliant career move.  No wonder so many of us don’t do it.

Of course there are infinite ways to nuance messages to specifically address behaviors that aren’t working for the team – if your boss is open to it, and if you have the courage and the skill.  You can develop that skill by listening to our podcast – we often give tips for effective communication in the workplace… Following us on Twitter too – we retweet lots o’ communication wisdom …

But the easier way – if your boss is really stuck in denial and isn’t open to feedback – might be to anonymously leave a thumb drive on your boss’s desk with an mp3 of this week’s The Boss Show – “How To Know You Suck As A Boss.”  We cover some clues that would be hard for even the least self-aware boss to deny.

Sure, it’s a bit of a cowardly strategy.  But if you’ve tried more direct approaches – or you’re seriously worried about losing your job – a thumb drive can be a powerful tool in the workplace.

Just make sure you wipe off the fingerprints.


About the Author

Steve Motenko is an executive coach, leadership trainer, and co-host of The Boss Show, a weekly podcast on workplace dynamics. Steve and his Boss Show co-host, Jim Hessler, are co-authors of Land On Your Feet, Not On Your Face: A Guide to Building Your Leadership Platform. Steve lives on Whidbey Island, Washington, with his wife and dog, whom he loves, and a cat he tolerates usually pretty well.

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