Improve Your Project Management Training and Soft Skills By Knowing What Most Employees Consider As Bad Leadership

Dr. Purushothaman
December 7, 2013

To be a good leader it is good to know how people identify the qualities of bad leaders. This way, you can avoid these leadership qualities to improve your own style. This article explores the qualities that you must avoid.

The following are a number of critical areas where employees complain about bad leadership:

Having a mentality of "Do as I say", rather than, "Do as I do"

Not giving a clear objective or direction

Focusing on too many things at once

Not taking responsibility for failure or making a wrong decision

Not saying thank you to people

Not caring about staff and ignoring their wants, wishes and aspirations

Having a mentality of wanting and not giving

Focusing too much on the "detail" and forgetting to explain "why"

Not making people feel valued and important

Treating tasks as more important than people

Having no vision or understanding of the future trends

Now being aware of market movement and changes across the industry and instead focusing on old ideas just because they worked in the past

Letting people who are not helping or efficient to remain in their jobs

Giving inconsistent direction and confusing people with mixed commands

Research shows that there are 4 fundamental areas where a leader may be seen as inadequate. These are the areas that get flagged most often by people.

Inconsistent expectation. When employees feel that some of them are expected to perform at a certain standard while other employees are not hold to the same standard, they would feel betrayed. Upon discovery of this some employees decide to withhold their effort, in order to make the system fairer. Resentment builds and since this feeling is contagious it can quickly start to affect other employees. From the employees' point of view, it is a leader's responsibility to make sure that a common standard is used throughout the organisation.

Inconsistent actions. Employees are usually quick to see inconsistent decision making by their leaders, when they say something and do something else. This leads to removal of trust which in turn leads to lack of enthusiasm and subsequent reduction in productivity. There is then build-up of a lot of hostility towards management.

Weak leadership. When employees see leaders who are slow to make decisions or take certain critical decisions lightly, they start to lose faith in the leader. From the employees' point of view, a good leader must be able to "lead" and therefore should be able to make tough decisions and stand his ground when necessary rather than being affected by advisers. Poor decision making can easily slow down progress, create office politics, and reduce moral. A good approach is to use participative management and involve employees in the decision making process in a systematic and constructive way so they feel they have been heard while also making decisive and final decision based on all the inputs and the vision of a leader.

Lack of commitment. When a leader decides on something, he should take steps to implement it. If employees see that after all the effort that was spent in making the decision nothing came of it, they will become disillusioned and may not be as enthusiastic in the future. This can significantly demoralise staff because people start to think that the management is not always as committed as they want them to believe. This leads to lack of trust and further reduces productivity.

Leadership is a skill and it can be mastered by constant practice, observation and self-improvement. Learning leadership is about improving a person's emotional intelligence. You can use a leadership skills training course along with project management to prepare people for this role. You can also use Leadership skills training materials or project management training materials to setup corporate courses on these subjects and systematically train your staff to become better at leading others.

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