When someone gets promoted into management and turns out to be a nightmare, HR often asks, “Why didn’t we see this coming?” All the signs probably were there, but maybe no one was looking for them.
People who fail as bosses – or at least make their employees miserable – tend to share 10 weaknesses. If you can spot them in managerial candidates, you might be able to save yourself and others a lot of aggravation by keeping the problem people out of management or guiding them to work on their skills.
Here are the common weaknesses spotted by Jackie Harder, a training consultant in Florida:
- People who’ll make bad managers tend to shun learning and training. Some will do so because they just don’t like learning new things; others think they know it all already.
- They’re not excited about their work. Oh, they’ll do it on a competent level, but you know they’re not passionate about it.
- They avoid unpleasant situations and people. It’s easier to go around unpleasantness, so they never learn to deal with it – and that it’s not the end of the world.
- They avoid risk – all risk – for fear of making a mistake or being criticized. What they don’t understand is that everyone makes mistakes and everyone gets criticized.
- Standing by your ideas is a good trait. Never changing your mind is a bad one. Does the candidate you’re talking to refuse to be swayed by even the strongest facts?
- Similarly, they refuse to admit they’re wrong – but of course believe everyone else is.
- When things do go wrong (often because of their own blunders), they can’t let it go and move on.
- They don’t have a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses.
- They prefer to work alone, often forgetting that management, first and foremost, is about dealing with people. Managers need to be able to talk to other people, listen to their input, make them part of your organization, get their best effort and push them to succeed. And that’s just the beginning, as you know.
- They prefer to stay in the background when working in groups or teams. Don’t expect someone like that to change his or her spots when they get a management position.