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Sat Sindhar


Managing Director

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Five bad habits good leaders don’t have


We read a lot about what you should be doing as a leader. But what about the things you shouldn’t be doing? These five habits are a sure way to turn your employees against you, and shatter any respect that they might have for you. So if you do them, lose them. Here’s how.

  1. Stop breaking your word

Making an empty promise to get yourself out of a tight situation might feel like the right move, but it isn’t. Whether you’re promising extra bonus payments that you know you can’t deliver, or simply offering an early finish that you know an employee cannot take, it’s damaging to your reputation as a leader.

The obvious solution is to keep any promise you ever make. But if you struggle to do this, then the next best thing is to make fewer promises!

  1. Stop embarrassing employees in front of their peers

Making a public example of somebody who does something wrong might feel like you’re teaching an important lesson to a wider audience, but you’re not. Whether you’re shouting criticism for a mistake across the office floor, or making employees who turn up late sing to the rest of the team, it is demeaning and inappropriate.

Employees are unlikely to respect you as a leader if they know that their reputation could be torn apart in front of their colleagues at the drop of a hat. Besides, humiliating employees does little more than increase attrition rates.

  1. Stop getting into people’s personal space

This doesn’t need to be physical. What I’m talking about, is constantly concerning yourself with what your employees are doing. This is called “micromanagement” – and not only is it inefficient (you’re wasting your own time as well as your employee’s), but it’s harmful to the employee’s happiness and productivity.

Sure, check in with employees periodically. You could even use HR software to set goals and review performance. But don’t breathe down their necks – you’ve hired them to do a job, so let them get on with it!

  1. Stop ignoring great work

Positive reinforcement is a proven way to encourage repeat behaviour. So if you see something you like? Reward it! Rewarding great work doesn’t have to cost you the earth. In fact, a simple “thank you” can be surprisingly effective!

Oh, and don’t wait for too long before rewarding great work. Sure, note something down if you notice it, and sure, add it to the employee’s performance review. But as a minimum, say thank you the moment you notice something you appreciate.

  1. Stop acting like you know everything

You don’t know everything. So why should you go around pretending like you do? Look, it’s not a sign of weakness that you hire people who know more about their own jobs than you do – it’s a sign of great strength and strong recruitment strategy!

In most situations, if you’re dictating to the letter how people should be doing their jobs, then there’s very little point in hiring them. Believe in the abilities of the people you employ!

Author Profile Picture
Sat Sindhar

Managing Director

Read more from Sat Sindhar

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