Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKPLACE / DEC. 24, 2014
version 2, draft 2

5 Signs Your Boss is Ebenezer Scrooge

Ebenezer Scrooge is the miserly, fictional character from Charles Dickens’ novella, A Christmas Carol, who’s “Bah! Humbug” catchphrase is his expression of disgust about everything to do with Christmas. Scrooge’s name is synonymous with miserliness, misanthropy and negativity. Just as Scrooge crushes the Christmas spirit, so too can a toxic boss crush team morale and motivation - a recent study showed this to be the case.The difference between a great boss and a toxic boss is the everyday interactions they have with their team. Here are five signs your boss is Ebenezer Scrooge in disguise:

#1 They dismiss you and your ideas in a matter-of-fact manner

Without hesitation, Scrooges will tell you that your ideas will bring no value to the organisation; that you don’t have what it takes to succeed in the organisation; that your ability to do the job you’ve been hired to do is questionable. The result of this attitude is team members who are reluctant to take risks or come up with new ideas; boredom sets in and eventually people leave.

#2 They are emotionally driven

If these bosses have had a bad day, head for cover. ‘Shooting from the hip’ is their answer way of giving constructive feedback. Being emotionally driven, few will approach them for fear of misjudging their mood on any one day. As a result, your relationship with your boss is non-existent at best; scrappy at worst.  And you feel that all you can do is pray that one of you gets another job.

#3 They are constantly ‘on your back’ 

Nothing you do is ever enough, so these bosses will have you working all hours of the day until they feel satisfied, which, of course, will never be the case. The result of this is that staff feel mentally and physically exhausted and utterly demotivated.

#4 They micromanage the team 

This is a frequent complaint amongst employees who feel stifled by managers who insist on managing every detail of their work, to the point where their managers might as well do work themselves. They constantly demand progress updates and will disapprove of your doing anything on your terms – it’s ‘their way’ or ‘the highway’. Micromanaging is the fastest route to lowering the morale of the team.

#5 They are die-hard pessimists  

They are quick to apportion blame when things go wrong, and when things work well, they view this as being the result of weaknesses exploited elsewhere and not due to the efforts of the team. Once again, team morale and motivation is the casualty, as the team will rarely receive the credit they deserve for their work.

These are just some of the signs that you are working for an Ebenezer Scrooge. Unlike A Christmas Carol, your life is in the here and now; it is not a fictional account. If you are working for a Scrooge, you’re not alone. Read my previous post, “How to Respond to Relentless Negativity”, for some tips and, if all else fails, know that neither of you will be there forever.


Main image via Oswego Patch

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