The Pitfalls of being a“Nice” Boss

According to a study by Florida State University, 40% of all employees in the business world think that they work under bad bosses. When asked why they think so, 39% blamed their bosses for not keeping their promises, 24%talked about privacy interference, 37% talked about devaluation of performance, and so on. While all these are drawbacks of being a bad boss, a boss who is too nice may also create obstacles to the growth of an organization. Sounds absurd? Let me explain. A friendly boss often finds it difficult to take a firm stand and drive higher productivity among employees. However, at times, it is important to make unpopular decisions for the good of the company. Read this article to know some of the drawbacks of being a “nice” boss.

Disadvantages of being a “Nice” Boss

Although a friendly boss can bring out the best in his team, being too empathetic or worrying about confrontation with team members can actually stop progress. Here are the four major disadvantages of being an over-kind boss.

  1. You may protect underperformance – If your employees are not accountable for underperformance, it may lead to a sluggish work environment in the organization. There is nothing wrong in sharing personal problems with them. But being too sympathetic may prevent you from taking actions against them when they underperform. Eventually, you may be accused of favoritism.
  2. You may promote gossiping at the office – Too much gossiping can be harmful for the work environment of your office. Instead of preventing this, a nice boss may end up inspiring gossip. Not all the employees will have common interests. So, chances are that the whole office will be divided into a number of gossip circles, with you being a part of one particular circle. Thus, those who are out of your circle may feel offended. Not to mention, this will ultimately affect the performance of your employees.
  3. You may overburden yourself – A nice boss is often unable to drive employees to take on extra workload when required. In most cases, they take on the employee’s responsibilities for themselves. For example, if there are some urgent deadlines to meet, you may decide to work on your own instead of delegating the task to your employees. There may be two negative repercussions of this decision. First of all, being overburdened can affect your quality of performance. On the other hand, your employees may feel that you don’t trust their abilities to handle challenging situations. Some employees who are eager to grow as professionals may even leave the organization due to this.
  4. Your employees may take advantage of the friendship – It is difficult to question a friend for coming in to work late or not meeting their targets. However, as a leader, you have the right to take action against your employees. However, when you become too friendly and are seeking only positive responses from team members, it is difficult to provide constructive feedback and push people to give their best. Eventually, some employees may see this as a weakness of the boss, and may start taking advantage of the friendship.

Moreover, in circumstances where you are promoted over your former peers, it becomes even more difficult for you to get the best out of former colleagues. You have to take the steps to move from peer to boss without making too many waves, this may require a stepped and steady process but is a necessary one.


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