Unprofessional Manager Habits: 5 Toxic Behaviors to Avoid

11 August 2023 by Emma


Managers are supposed to supervise or lead their team members to a certain goal. However, some managers have unprofessional habits that create an unhealthy working environment.

A bad manager can take a good staff member and destroy it—Brigette Hyacinth, founder of @Leadership EQ said—causing the best employees to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation. It can be disruptive to your business, especially if you don’t have that many employees to begin with.

No leader is perfect—but unprofessional manager behavior that happens repeatedly can lead to employee turnover and poor company performance. Here are five habits that leaders should avoid because it was all considered unprofessional. 

Lack of Communication

Communication is the key to effective workplace productivity. When managers have poor communication skills, it may result in potential conflict between managers and employees, and even between team members. Poor communication skills include unwillingness to listen and unable to receive criticism from others. Working with managers who are bad at communicating will be full of misunderstandings and unclear objectives.


Micromanaging managers are always trying to control even the smallest task given to their team members. The limitation and the lack of autonomy in this kind of management will result in the loss of trust in the team. They will have little control of what they’re doing, and eventually dampen their spirit. Besides, not only is over-controlling bad for the team members, but it is also bad for the manager since it can result in manager burnout.

Doesn’t Show Appreciation

Unfortunately, the feeling of being under-appreciated by managers or colleagues is not unusual in a professional setting. However, it’s definitely a bad thing when managers don’t even thank their team after completing a tough task. When someone’s hard work is not acknowledged, it demotivates them. This can affect the quality of their work, and even lead to employee turnover.

Always Focusing on Negative Things

Negative comments are not always harmful. If said right, constructive criticism is important for employees' growth. Yet, when managers only focus on their team’s mistakes, it’s downright damaging. When this happens, the team members will feel like they aren’t contributing enough to their team and start doubting themselves. Also, constant negative comments are not exactly nice to hear all the time.

Inflicting Insecurities

Aside from the previous points above, bad managers are sometimes hostile when interacting with other employees. Their toxic behavior will affect team members’ physical and mental health. When people feel their working environment is psychologically unsafe, they won’t perform well, and this can even lead to a more serious anxiety problem.

How to Deal with Toxic Managers

Sometimes it’s tempting to quit right away when dealing with toxic managers and it becomes too much. However, some managers are not aware of their toxicity. Trying to understand their leadership style might be an insightful experience.

Managers who are simply unaware of their toxicity won’t ignore your feedback and suggestions. Try to approach your manager carefully—see whether they are actually a bad person (rude, self-centered, or hostile) or you just don’t match their management style. If their response to your feedback is professional and polite, maybe they aren’t that toxic.

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