Are You a Good Boss or a Bad Boss?
Take This Self Quiz
Posted Nov 11, 2015
The word “boss” has virtually come to mean “bad boss.” Just take it from Steve Carell in The Office. If you know about “Terrible Office Tyrants” or TOTs, you know that everyone is capable of having their moments of being a bad boss or TOT. So that's why some self-reflection is always a good idea—to ensure we channel our emotions into manageable, socially acceptable ways in the workplace. Take the quiz below and see how you stack up on the TOT-meter.
We all witness regressions reminiscent of bad bosses, with managers, employees, clients, relatives, friends, clerks, and just about every mortal we come across. Why? Because we’re all human, and whether we’re two or 52, we still share all the same basic feelings of fear, power, love, hunger, anger, wanting praise, recognition, appreciation, and so on.
Outward appearances are different, of course. You won’t find your boss showing off his new tricycle; or coworker choosing apple juice in a plastic, pink sippy cup over a designer label caffe latte. But all in all, the core, parallel emotions are all there. (Could that be why emojis have so much universal appeal?)
So here’s a different slant on the subject. The anti-TOT (Terrible Office Tyrant) or good boss. How do you measure up, not just in terms of emotional intelligence, but also as a leader and mentor? Take this quiz and see how you score. This is not a scientific test, but it’s based on quantitative and anecdotal research compiled over more than 20 years by Lynn Taylor Consulting. How do these phrases and adjectives describe you in the office?
Mark Y for excelling at the trait. Mark N for needing to improve at the trait; and find out where you stand on the TOT-meter.
I am (or this describes me at work):
- Offer an employee-centric culture
- Strive for talent excellence
- Set reasonable, achievable goals
- Actively listen
- Good communicator
- Have strong emotional intelligence
- Hold myself and others accountable
- Show empathy
- Know when to make tough decisions that are unpopular
- Make it safe for smart risks among staff
- Give constructive, clear and honest feedback
- Encourage and reward innovation and new thinking
- My approach with the team is humanized
- Treat people equally and equitably; I don’t play favorites
- Avoid being judgmental
- A good coach; I mentor others, but also learn
- Lead by example
- Share a clear vision
- Have a sense of humor
- Give people latitude to excel
- Admit to my mistakes
- Promise only what I can deliver
- Inclusive with others
- Value diversity
- Value others’ opinions
- Calm during crises
- Accessible to my team
- Give credit where it’s due
- Model respect and professionalism
- Embrace ongoing training and learning
- Support employees’ desired career paths
- Keep irrational fears in check
- Embrace integrity and trust
- Praise and recognize staff privately and publicly
- Show interest in my team and their long-term goals
- Demonstrate a clear vision
- My ego doesn’t get in the way of decisions
- Motivational and inspirational
- Act on feedback
- Give immediate feedback
- Offer a constructive v. competitive atmosphere
- Not afraid to embolden others
- Willing to show my playful side
- Have a strong work ethic
- Reward hard work but also support a healthy work/life balance
- Support a team versus solo approach
- Don’t gossip or play petty politics
- Show the correct path when work is sub-par
- Want people to generally enjoy working with me
- Not afraid to hire brilliant people
- Enjoy seeing my team thrive
- Good decision maker
- Run efficient meetings
- Organized and expect that of the team
Now add up how many times you indicated “yes.”
- Did you score 57+? You are the anti-TOT…an amazing boss; congratulations!
- Did you score between 48-56? You’re definitely a good boss...and with some minor work, you could be an awesome boss.
- Did you score 35-47? You have some good boss traits but, caution; if you're on the lower end of the scale, you're nearing the TOT-zone. Consider reading about the subject, get some coaching and seek feedback from your team.
- Less than 34? You have landed in the TOT-zone. Definitely seek management training and/or coaching, solicit team feedback and do some reading on the subject of becoming a better manager. It will be well worth the effort for your job and future.
Just the fact that you took the quiz demonstrates you have the desire for self-improvement—the first step in becoming a better boss and advancing in your career.