A controlling boss has too many rules, often unfair and unreasonable. No matter how capable you are, it is impossible to make this person happy. Let’s learn some controlling boss signs and how to cope with them.
It can be challenging to know what to do if you find yourself in a position where you have a controlling boss.
15 Signs Of A Controlling Boss
When you want to identify a controlling boss, there are sure signs to look out for:
1. Making All The Decisions Themselves:
A controlling boss will want to entirely control everything that happens in the workplace.
They will make all of the decisions themselves. For instance, they may decide when employees take breaks. Or what work needs to be done and how it should be done.
Or they may not allow employees to have any input into decisions.
For instance, there is a new project that needs to be done. The boss decides everything about it without consulting with anyone else.
They may not tell employees about the project until it is already underway.
This behavior can be frustrating for employees who want a say in what happens at work.
2. Not Being Open To Suggestions Or Criticism:
A controlling boss will also not be open to suggestions or criticism from employees.
They may feel like they know best and that any suggestions from employees are unnecessary.
Or they may be afraid of criticism and not want to hear what employees have to say.
For instance, an employee suggests a new way to do something. But the boss rejects the idea without even considering it.
This can make it difficult for employees to give feedback or make suggestions. Even when they have good ideas, they may not be able to share them.
In the end, this can lead to a work environment where employees feel stifled and unable to contribute.
3. Being Quick To Anger:
A controlling boss is also often quick to anger. They may get angry over small things that employees do wrong.
Or they may lash out at employees in a way that is disproportionate to the mistake.
For instance, an employee makes a small mistake. But instead of correcting the employee, the boss gets angry and scolds them in front of everyone.
This type of behavior can be very frightening and upsetting for employees.
It can also make it challenging to work in an environment where you are constantly afraid of making mistakes.
4. Yelling Or Screaming At Employees:
As we mentioned, a controlling boss may get angry and yell or scream at employees.
This is a form of verbal abuse, such as, “You’re an idiot! I can’t believe you did that!”
Or, “You’re worthless! You can’t do anything right!”
It can make employees feel like they are not good enough. Or that they are not doing their job correctly.
It can also make it difficult to concentrate on work when you are constantly criticized.
Yelling and screaming are not constructive ways to communicate.
They will only worsen the situation and make it more difficult for employees to do their job.
5. Having Unrealistic Expectations:
Another sign of a controlling boss has unrealistic expectations. They may expect employees to work long hours with no break.
Or they may expect employees to do impossible tasks. For instance, a boss may expect an employee to finish a project in one day.
But that would typically take a week to complete. Or a boss may expect an employee to work on a holiday.
Such unrealistic expectations can be very stressful for employees.
They may feel like they can never do their job correctly. Or that they are always falling short of the boss’s expectations.
6. Micromanaging Employees:
A controlling boss may also micromanage employees. This means that they will want to control everything that employees do.
They may not allow employees to make any decisions on their own. Or they may constantly check up on what employees are doing.
For instance, a boss may call an employee every hour to check their progress.
Or a boss may come to an employee’s desk every few minutes to see what they are doing.
Micromanagement is the root cause of many other controlling behaviors.
It can make employees feel like they are not trusted to do their job. Or that they are not capable of making decisions on their own.
It can also make it difficult to get any work done when they are constantly monitoring you.
7. Constantly Changing Rules And Procedures:
Changing rules and procedures is another sign of a controlling boss. They may not give employees enough notice of the changes.
Or they may change the rules without any explanation. For instance, a boss may tell employees that they must start coming in at 8 am instead of 9 am.
But they do not give any reason for the change. Or a boss may tell employees that they can no longer take breaks.
Such sudden and unexplained changes can be very confusing for employees.
An office where the rules constantly change is not a productive workplace.
8. Taking Credit For Employee’s Work:
Another sign of a controlling boss is taking credit for an employee’s work. They may take credit for an idea that an employee suggested.
Or they may take credit for a project that an employee completed.
Such a boss may not be willing to give employees any credit for their work. This can make employees feel unappreciated and undervalued.
It can also make it challenging to build a good working relationship with such a boss.
9. Blaming Employees For Their Own Mistakes:
A controlling boss may also blame employees for their own mistakes. They may try to blame an employee even when it is not their fault.
For instance, a boss may blame an employee for a project that was not completed on time.
But the real reason for the delay may be that the boss did not give the employee enough time to complete the project.
Or a boss may blame an employee for a mistake that the boss made.
When someone is always blaming you for things that are not your fault. They are sabotaging your work and your confidence.
Blaming employees for their own mistakes is not only unfair, but it can also be very demoralizing.
10. Withholding Important Information From Employees:
Withholding important information from employees is another sign of a controlling boss. They may withhold information that would be helpful to employees.
Or they may withhold information that employees need to do their job correctly.
For instance, a boss may not tell an employee about a new project until the last minute.
Or they may not give employees all the information they need to complete a task.
Withholding important information is often done intentionally by a controlling boss.
They may do it to try to keep employees in the dark. Or they may do it to try to control how employees do their job.
Either way, withholding information is not fair to employees. It can make their job more difficult and stressful.
11. Spreading Rumors About Employees:
Bosses who spread rumors about employees are also often very controlling. They may spread rumors to try to undermine an employee’s position.
Or they may spread rumors to try to damage an employee’s reputation.
Spreading rumors is a form of gossip. And it can be exceedingly hurtful to the person who is the story’s subject.
You can never be sure if a rumor is true or not. And even if it is not valid, the rumor can still do damage.
If you are spreading rumors about yourself, it can be tough to work with that person.
12. Playing Favorites:
Another sign of a controlling boss is playing favorites. They may have a favorite employee who they give special treatment.
Or they may have a group of favorite employees they always seem to be talking to and laughing with.
Favoritism can be frustrating for employees who are not in the boss’s good graces.
It can make them feel left out and unimportant. It causes toxic feelings of jealousy and resentment.
13. Making Demeaning Comments:
A controlling boss may also make demeaning comments about employees. They may say things to put an employee down.
Or they may make comments designed to create an employee feel inferior.
Making demeaning comments is a form of verbal abuse. And it can be exceedingly hurtful to the person who is on the receiving end of such statements.
With demeaning comments, a boss tries to make an employee feel bad about themselves.
Ultimately, they can leave an employee feeling insecure, anxious, and stressed.
14. Threatening Employees:
Threatening employees is another sign of a controlling boss. They may threaten to fire employees if they do not do what the boss wants.
Or they may threaten to give an employee a negative performance review. Threats are a form of coercion.
And they are often used by bosses as a way to try to control their employees.
However, threats are not an effective way to motivate employees. They can often have the opposite effect.
They can make employees feel anxious and stressed. And they can make it difficult for employees to do their job correctly.
15. Physically Intimidating Employees:
Finally, a controlling boss may also physically intimidate employees. They may stand close to an employee in a threatening way.
Or they may make physical contact with an employee in a way that makes them uncomfortable.
Physical intimidation is a form of verbal abuse. And it can be just as hurtful as demeaning comments.
It can leave an employee feeling scared. Not only is this behavior inappropriate, but it is also illegal.
If you are being physically intimidated by your boss, you may consider filing a complaint with HR.
These are just some signs that you may have a controlling boss. If you are experiencing any of these things, it is essential to take action.
If you are experiencing any of these things, it is essential to take action. You may want to talk to your boss about their behavior.
Or you may want to speak to HR about the situation.
It is important to remember that you have rights. And it would be best if you did not have to put up with a boss who is trying to control you.
Last Updated on 2 years by Shahzaib Arshad
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