The foundation of good leadership is based largely on E.Q.—or, more simply put, good people skills. Yet there are things many managers do, or fail to do, that render their efforts ineffective to the point where employees dislike them and, worse, disrespect them.
1. You don’t do anything
You think you’ve earned the right to come in when you want and take two-hour liquid lunches while delegating everything and contributing nothing. Employees loath getting sentenced to work for you. You have reason to be nervous every time you start your car.
2. You always find a reason to complain
It’s too hot, it’s too cold, the coffee is crappy, the customer is annoying, Jimmy John’s isn’t fast enough and you always have a headache to moan about.
3. You’re sickeningly positive
This is equally as annoying as always complaining. When there’s a fire, employees want and expect you to acknowledge it, not rattle off positive reaffirmations. Employees want a calm and collected leader in times of distress, not Stuart Smalley.
4. You gossip like a spoiled prom queen
This one needs no explanation.
5. You kiss up to your boss
Nobody respects a suck up. You emit an unpleasant odor when you’re always telling your boss how nice he looks or how brilliant he is while you treat your subordinates like compost.
6. You take credit you don’t deserve
What would you do if your manager presented the winning idea you thought of to the executive team, claimed full ownership of that idea and glowed in the accolades, never mentioning your name?
7. You don’t listen
Are you the one who acts like you know everything, then flubs everything up because you didn’t pay attention at the meeting?
8. You don’t know when to stop talking
When people start saying things like, “alrighty then,” “sounds good,” “okey dokey,” “sounds like you had fun,” “I think I hear my phone ringing” and heading towards the restroom, it’s time to stop talking. Please.
9. You micromanage
Micromanagers often complain that they are always swamped. Think about this one.
10. You make inappropriate comments
Two reasons to stop this: one, the comments are probably illegal, and two, you make people feel uncomfortable around you.
11. You throw your title around
It’s the purest expression of insecurity. It impresses no one, and it doesn’t earn you any respect.
12. You’re unfriendly
You don’t show any interest in your employees, fail to congratulate them when a job is well done, wear a grumpy face and never buy their kids’ Girl Scout cookies.
13. You bring your germs to work to show everyone how tough you are while dropping implications that people who call in sick are wimps
You’re proving nothing, passing your germs to everyone else at the office, and people will still call in sick when they are sick.
14. You call employees into your office … a lot, for dumb stuff
Nothing plummets productivity, builds disdain, boosts sarcasm and increases turnover faster than being a “beck and call” or “when I tell you to jump, you ask how high” manager.
We all make these mistakes sometimes. But it helps to be aware, as employees have keen radars, able to detect the smallest imperfections on which to base their opinion of us. Since the foundation of good leadership is largely based on good people skills, we are expected to practice them day after day.
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