The 7 Secrets to Workplace Misery
[This is the first installment of a series of 8 articles about really bad bosses. Keep in mind that they are written “Tongue-in-cheek”!]
Are you tired of trying to get the people you manage to regard you with warmth and respect? After all, where’s the proof that workers who like their bosses and managers are more productive? It seems to me that army drill sergeants are the perfect model for getting people to perform…and everyone they command pretty much hates them. Could it be that this is a better management style? If you suspect that workers are more productive when they hate you, you’re in luck! I can tell you how to make that happen.
Inspiring hatred…The 7 Basic Strategies
I’m hardly the best person to write about this. Judging from my collection of anecdotes from clients, there are hundreds of bosses and managers out there who have this down to a real science.
“Describe the worst boss you have ever had.” I’ve listened to scores of these descriptions for over a decade, and while no two are exactly alike, there are recurring themes. Each hated boss has their own proprietary tactics for achieving their hated status, but every story I’ve heard fits into one or more of 7 simple strategies. If you want your people to hate you, here’s a list of general strategies I’ve gleaned from my research on the subject. (Just check them off as you master them!)
1. Behave Unprofessionally
This seems to be the most effective strategy. At least it is the one that is most universally employed by hated managers. (Or perhaps it’s because it’s just a ripe area for creativity.)
2. Entrenched Incompetence
Practice incompetence for the job. Make sure to skip any opportunities to understand your job, your people, the goals of the department, or management in general.
Be utterly inconsiderate of the people you manage. After all, they are there to make your life easier, right? Thoughtfulness and consideration whenever possible would be wasted on them.
4. Communicate Badly
Make no effort to use or improve your communication or social skills. Constant miscommunication on your part, followed by reprimands and blaming everyone but yourself for it is a great way to make your people hate you.
Be manipulative, insincere and deceitful in your management style. Half-truths and ‘spin’ eventually become transparent. After all, hate and distrust are complementary twins.
Unleash your inner narcissist. Spin every failure as something you intended all along. Spin every misunderstanding as someone else’s fault. You are never wrong. You never fail.
7. Emotional Maladjustment
Bring your mental/emotional instability into your management style. Screaming reprimands. Accusations based on suspicion and paranoia. Project your self-loathing onto everyone else and interact appropriately. You’ll figure it out as you go.
This just introduces the vast array of possibilities available to anyone who wants to experiment with worker hatred as a context for effective management. Be sure to follow the next 7 articles for MUCH more detailed information on all of these strategies, complete with REAL examples, taken from my collection of client anecdotes! Next article is: “Professionalism is Over-Rated (for those who love to be loathed).”
Click here for a complete catalog of my blog posts with a brief description of their content.