blog header

3 Characteristics of a Bad Boss

Bad bosses can make your work life pretty miserable, making you hate a job you once loved and taking away your motivation to do a good work. But what makes these bad bosses so bad? The Harvard Business Review did 360 qualitative interviews to find out which characteristics of bosses people find most unpleasant.
  1. Body language and tone: Even when some bosses try to hide it, their distaste still manages to come across in their body language and tone of voice. Without even meaning to, they can come off rude and condescending with simple facial expressions like furrowed brows and scowls.
  2. Interrupting the creative process: A good boss allows people to feel secure about their jobs and shows them encouragement while they are in the midst of their own creative process. On the other hand, a bad boss interrupts the process by making employees feel nervous by not listening to ideas, interrogating and having unfair expectations.
  3. Inconsistency: An inconsistent boss makes everyone nervous. A bad boss treats the management team differently than other employees and often has outrageous reactions to situations that don't warrant it. This forces employees to walk on eggshells and creates an environment of nervousness and tension. A good boss is one who treats everyone with the same respect and manages to stay cool, calm and collected.

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! What other characteristics make a boss bad? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments!

More from PayScale

3 Ways to Deal With a Bad Boss

How to Deal With Bad Bosses

Good Bosses vs. Bad Bosses

bad boss

(Photo credit: © berc -

1 Comment

  1. 1 MB 25 May

    When others who have the same job as yourself, for example, custodian staff and she wants everyone to toss the trash except in your area.  Your area is the area that makes a true impression on people walking into the company for the first time and they see that the janitor has not picked up the trash because the supervisor says to custodian do not toss trash.  She is inconsistent with the custodial staff.  She needs to keep everyone the same.  Her reasoning is illogical by not tossing the trash.  Her expectations were lower.  Signs of bad boss, inconsistency, takes away duties, and expectations ridiculous. How can you follow her line of reasoning?



  1. Please prove to us that you're not a robot:
Find Out Exactly What You
Should Be Paid
Job Title:
Years in Field/Career:
United States (change)
- OR -
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google Plus Pinterest
Compensation Today