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Good Boss versus Bad Boss

Everybody knows that a boss is a person who directs employees to perform their duties in a proper way in order to achieve the major organizational goals. However, the word “boss” can have both positive and negative characteristics. Any employee, who has got an experience of working with both good and bad bosses in the workplace, can easily characterize both of them. A good boss and a bad boss have very much in common, but at the same time they have a lot of differences which are concluded in their personal characteristics.

A good boss is always a good listener because he is ready to learn about the employees needs and meet them. Besides listening skills, a good boss has good communication skills. He is always ready to keep in touch with each team member individually and to keep them informed of any changes and innovations in the process of work. (Good Boss vs Bad Boss, 2009, para.1) Moreover, a good boss is a person who can become a mentor for his employees, the one who is ready to share his experience with others in the workplace. In addition, a good boss is the one who is empowering, inspirational and empathic in relation to his employees. He is ready to motivate the team members to perform their duties better and to increase organization’s productivity. (Brown, 2008, para.3)

A bad boss is the one who talks too much, but doesn’t listen to his employees’ ideas and meet their needs. The working process of a bad boss is built on commands and controls: “Bad bosses waste too much energy on employee makeovers”. (Brown, 2008, para.4) In this case, employees often lose trust in this person and fail to perform their duties in a proper way. Moreover, he treats his employees as subordinates, but not equally. (Good Boss vs Bad Boss, 2009, para.2) It means that the employees have no opportunity to express their progressive ideas concerning this or that issue. A bad boss is the one who believes that he knows everything and his employees know nothing. A bad boss will never share his experience with other team members. Moreover, he tries to hire weak candidates who are less qualifies, less initiative, and who will never substitute him. (Brown, 2008, para.4)

Both good boss and bad boss have the same functions in the workplace – they should direct and motivate the employees to perform their duties in a proper way and to achieve the major organizational goals. Planning, controlling, directing, organizing and staffing are the key functions of effective management. (Functions of Management, 2011, para.2) It means that any boss should use his skills and abilities in order to be an effective leader of the organization. However, it depends on the personal characteristics of the boss if he is a good or bad leader. Both good and bad bosses hold high position in the organization, get higher wages and should be treated with respect. (Beck, 2008, para.5)

To sum up, both good and bad bosses do have common functions and responsibilities in the workplace, but they have also a lot of differences which are concluded in their relation to work and employees, and their personal traits of character.v


Beck, M. (2008) Are you a good boss or bad boss? CNN Living. April 03, 2008. Retrieved from:<http://articles.cnn.com/20080403/living/o.good.bad.boss_1_bad-boss-poor-leadership-orders?_s=PM:LIVING>
Brown, P.B. (2008) Good Boss, Bad Boss. Which Are You? The New York Times. Small Business. January 8, 2008. Retrieved from:<http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/08/business/smallbusiness/08toolkit.html>
Good Boss vs Bad Boss. (2009) Developing People. 12 February, 2009. Retrieved from:<http://www.developingpeople.co.uk/newsGood_Boss_Vs_Bad_Boss-306.aspx>
Functions of Management.(2011) Management Study Guide. Retrieved from:http://managementstudyguide.com/management_functions.htm