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What Makes a Good or Bad Boss – 24 Best Qualities


In the professional life of every individual, if they aren’t in a position to become the boss in their office, they at least hope to have a good boss to work for. Having a good boss who is goal oriented, supportive and initiates coordination is one which every individual hope for.

How to be a Good Boss

There are two types of bosses employees encounter, a good boss, and a bad boss. The difference between a good boss and a bad boss and their individual traits needs to be understood.

What Makes a Great Boss?

Good bosses are people that every employee in this world wish to have in their workplace and would willingly work with or under such people. Every good boss knows the hard work that their employees put in, to meet the expectations and objectives of the company.

The employees are rewarded and aren’t underpaid as they receive the true salary they deserve. Some of the main qualities of a good boss have been mentioned below.

Differences between Qualities of a Good Boss vs Qualities of a Bad Boss:

Qualities of a Good Boss Qualities of a Bad Boss
Initiates a clear vision Communicates rarely and offensively
Connects the vision with Daily tasks Fear within motivation
Setting clear expectations Desires complete control
Coaching Never takes the blame
Provides feedback Doesn’t consider someone else’s suggestions
Appreciates the efforts Failure in properly performing the job
Great work atmosphere Lack of guidance
Interested in the employees No firm vision or goal
Bosses share their personal information. Ignores team-building activities
Finding the hidden talents Working hard with less compensation
Fearless in working
Open and truthful
Good bosses are made, not always born
Promotes team development
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Qualities of a Good Boss:

1. Initiates a clear vision:

Every employee would want to do their best at their job and make a difference for the organization. They would need their boss to communicate the clear vision that they have set which is what good bosses do.

Setting the vision to meet the objectives of the company would get employees much more interested in helping the organization to achieve their goals.

2. Connects the vision with Daily tasks:

Great bosses make efforts to connect the vision of the organization with the daily tasks that every individual is performing. They demonstrate to the employees how there is a clear connection between the two.

The connection can be brought by having smart goals which entirely helps in supporting the organization and it can help in business strategy planning.

3. Setting clear expectations:

A great boss would know their expectation level from new employees for the present and the future. So they will sit with the new employee on their first day itself in the workplace and will make them aware of the necessary priorities.

They talk about past performance reviews and what they expect from the new employee. They set expectations and makes their employees aware of the outcomes that can be achieved, once such expectations are met.

4. Coaching:

Coaching is one of the most important things that a boss can give to their employees. Great bosses consider themselves as a leader and coach at the same time to provide motivation and encouragement for their team.

They lead by example and they know the mind state of their employees. They identify, when coaching would be needed and provide it with the least possible interference. They understand the difference between over-controlling and under-controlling a situation and act wiser to be a source of help at the moment.

5. Provides feedback:

Good bosses will provide feedback to their employees before reviewing their final feedback. They provide feedback especially negative feedback at the right time to their employees. This helps in establishing a long-lasting relationship between the two.

Engaging in conversations leads to co-operation and presents the employee more time to try and rectify their mistake and ensure that it does not happen in the future.

6. Appreciates the efforts:

Appreciation is required by every employee in a company. Positive appreciation will help in keeping the person cheerful and bring more efficiency to their work. A good boss will share things about the work and appreciate the efforts that their workers are putting in.

It is common sense to appreciate a person as it will help the individuals as well as the whole company.

7. Great work atmosphere:

Employees thrive on being treated as equals in the workplace and contribute their efforts equally to the team. Great bosses will create a positive work environment which will have qualities such as trust, respect, innovation, creativity, etc. Any employee would love such an environment and would flourish in such an atmosphere.

8. Interested in the employees:

Good bosses stop by to greet the employees and ask them how they are feeling. They are available for all employees and give their entire attention whenever employees need it.

Good bosses also take a personal interest in the lives of an employee. They appreciate the employees every time which helps them in understanding the true behavior of the employee. This also increases the level of commitment for the work being performed by the employee.

9. Bosses share their personal information:

At times, great bosses who have entirely gained the trust of their employees may share their personal experiences of their life with them. They share their life struggles and how they overcame such challenges to be in the current position.

It brings an even closer relationship between boss and employee and if the story has really inspired the employee then they consider their boss as their role model

10. Finding the hidden talents:

Great bosses observe their employees to truly identify their hidden talents. The boss will talk to their employees regarding the thing they enjoy the most at their job. They identify the instincts and true skills that employees possess and in turn bosses get their reward of seeing employee satisfaction.

It also brings a level of self-inspiration and confidence within the individual. They identify their true skills and talents and also get the true appreciation they seek for.

11. Fearless in working:

Good and effective bosses will always encourage their employees in working fearlessly and worry less if they make any kind of mistakes. This fearless attitude will make the employee learn from their mistakes and not to repeat them. Fearless in work would present the person with opportunities of trying a new and different thing for that day.

12. Open and truthful:

Great bosses tend to be direct but also have sensitivity in their tone. As communication is essential, they would clearly give their opinion to the employees as soon as possible but in a kind way.

Employees are encouraged rather than being threatened which keeps them aware of the truth and provides them with vital information to help them in the future.

13. Good bosses are made, not always born:

Most of the great people in this world are natural born leaders who have the quality of motivating, inspiring and leading their employees ahead. But others learn the behavioral pattern to be a successful and effective leader in the future.

The traits that a person possesses within makes or can make them a great boss in the future. But at the same time, they need to develop such traits. They can develop and maintain such qualities by attending a number of management classes, attending seminars, and reading and through self-assessment.

14. Promotes team development:

A good boss knows the level of efficiency they can get from a well-functioning team of workers. For it to happen, any great boss would be a team leader and lead the employees to function as a team in harmony. The employees are unified and the boss ensures that everyone is heading in the same direction.

What Makes a Bad Boss?

A person may have found their dream job they have been looking for their entire lives. They have found their passion, a good salary package and excellent co-workers to work with.

But there may be one major problem, a bad boss. This brings a huge negative impact on the person greatly to their professional lives and even at some level in their personal lives. There are some qualities which every person should know if they have a bad boss.

Qualities of a Bad Boss:

1. Communicates rarely and offensively:

Every good boss’s reputation is built on having a good team who are good at their job. This relationship between boss and subordinate is only achieved through effective communication.

A bad boss would speak offensively and yell at their team which reduces the individual’s self-esteem as well as builds work pressure. Such bosses do not clearly instruct their team and do not communicate the correct details about the job of the person.

2. Fear within motivation:

Motivation is a key factor towards initiating the employee to work hard at their job. A bad boss will motivate less and threaten more. Bad bosses scare their employees by threatening to fire them from their job.

With no signs of positive motivation, the employee loses hope in their boss and their job and faces a drawback in their career.

3. Desires complete control:

Employees are hired in a company as their qualifications and skills they possess have met the requirements for the job. While performing their job, a bad boss will pressurize the person every single time for every little thing.

They wish to have complete control on the job someone else is doing. This hampers the person’s personal growth and they learn less about their job. They cannot perform their job or complete a specific project as per their wish.

4. Never takes the blame:

Bad bosses often tend to blame their employees and members of their team for the failures caused by the organization. It is very difficult for an employee to take blame for something which they haven’t even done.

Bad bosses often tend to blame others for failures but take the entire credit for the accomplishments at the job. They never stick up for the team and spoil their relationship with their team.

5. Doesn’t consider someone else’s suggestions:

A boss has attained the position as a head because they are experienced and have the necessary skills for their new job. With respect to employees, the boss should now lead them towards attaining the goals of the organization. But this doesn’t mean that the boss is always right.

A bad boss would not consider the suggestions that the employees are willing to offer and will perform the actions as per their wish.

6. Failure in properly performing the job:

A bad boss will not set a definite objective to meet the needs, vision, and mission of the company. They do not perform their job to the expected level and do not put in their part while completing the task at hand. At times, employees tend to work harder and more efficient than their senior boss.

7. Lack of guidance:

A new employee to the firm will require the right guidance to help them in their beginning weeks of the job. This guidance can only be obtained from their boss as they have the necessary experience.

Bad bosses do not brief the individual properly about their job. They do not even check to find out whether or not everything is happening in an appropriate manner.

8. No firm vision or goal:

Bad bosses do not have a clear goal set in their head. If there is no clear vision then the boss cannot handle and lead their team. If the vision isn’t in line with the objectives of the company then too, the person is considered as a bad boss because the vision would only be for attaining individual success.

9. Ignores team-building activities:

Team building is important at every level in an organization. It helps in strengthening the relationship between employees and the company as a whole. Employees relieve their stress when they perform various team building exercises. But bad bosses do not prompt such activities.

10. Working hard with less compensation:

Every boss expects their employees to work harder and more efficient in every forthcoming task. But bad bosses do not give their workers the actual salary package they are looking out for. The quality and performance of work are much more than the reward or salary received for it.


There is an important difference between a bad boss and a good boss, a thin line. Every boss has their own status and it should be used for the benefit of the company and the employees.

Every employee should get fair treatment and the respect that they deserve. This will only increase the productivity and efficiency of the person which will bring a sense of job satisfaction within the employee.