some of our clients:
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • YPO
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • US Army
  • Air New Zealand
  • WB
  • Red Bull
  • Frito Lay
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Delta Airlines
  • bp

Executive Coaching for Bad Boss Behaviors


Are you concerned about the way a boss behaves in the workplace? Have you received complaints from employees, peers or superiors? Unfortunately, many struggling bosses do not seek the help they need. It’s hard to face shortcomings even for the best of us. But the smartest leaders use executive coaching to resolve bad boss behaviors.

Some leaders are misaligned with their organization’s objectives. They would be well served with a career transition. Many are working hard to balance remote, hybrid, and full-time office workplace demands. Managing employee work-life conflict is tough. Childcare, remote schooling and caring for elderly parents is an ongoing challenge. And now, high inflation as well as critical diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Trial and error can be nerve wracking for leaders. They need to exercise flexibility and first-rate interpersonal skills. During this great resignation, leaders are experiencing tremendous stress. Some are even struggling with burnout. Employees have expressed their need for recognition, feeling valued, and finding meaningful work. They are dealing with post-pandemic fatigue.

Optimal Thinking coaches do not label a struggling leader as a bad boss. We uncover damaging behaviors based on poor decisions. We then incorporate the Optimal Thinking paradigm:

Accept, Understand, Optimize!

Optimal Thinking Executive Coaching helps underperforming bosses conquer bad boss behaviors. We provide these leaders with best practices and solutions to optimize performance. We’ve helped transform thousands of underperforming bosses into superior leaders.

According to Headspace Health’s 2022 Workforce Attitudes Toward Mental Health Report, 25% of employees label “poor leadership” as a top workplace stressor. Do you know a leader who demonstrates any of the following behaviors?

Bad Boss Behaviors

  • controlling
  • intrusive
  • picky
  • unreliable
  • bullying or harassing
  • insecure or overwhelmed with job requirements
  • discriminating
  • dishonest
  • unethical, immoral or unfair
  • incompetent

Specifically, they:

  • take the credit for employees’ work
  • micromanage employees
  • belittle employees
  • play favorites
  • provide inadequate compensation
  • fail to understand employees’ needs
  • dole out tasks with impossible deadlines
  • change deadlines too often or at the last moment
  • back stab or gossip
  • disrespect employees’ privacy or legal rights
  • use sarcasm with employees
  • provide unclear direction for the team
  • don’t have enough knowledge of the business
  • withhold recognition for hard work and accomplishments
  • fail to lead by example

How to Become a First-Rate Boss

Many leaders believe that hiring the best talent is almost all that is required for success. But, 85 years of research by Frank Schmidt and John Hunter on employee selection methods revealed otherwise. Apparently, the top 15 percent of professionals and managers produce almost 50 percent more output than their average peers.

Constructive connections among people are critical to achieve performance and humane behavior. The best bosses commit to their own leader development. They understand that a best place to work is an environment where their people can be their best. They provide an environment of psychological safety. Employees can perform at their highest levels without fear of ridicule or punishment.

When employees bring their best to work, their bosses experience the greatest productivity and recognition.

Executive Coaching to Optimize Leader Development

“The best athletes have coaches… so do the best executives!!”
Gretchen Gavett, senior editor, Harvard Business Review

During Optimal Thinking Executive Coaching, we listen carefully to negative feedback. We seek to understand where it is coming from. We view the information as an optimization opportunity. Acknowledging underlying fears reduces defensiveness, and enables feedback to best support behavior change. Together, we explore the best options and implementation of the best solutions.

Even the worst bosses can place their best selves in charge. They can minimize destructive behaviors with consistent Optimal Thinking. They can learn how to accept what is out of their control and maximize what is within their control. They can bring out the best from others.

The best leaders discover what their people value most. They uncover the beliefs and causes their people are most committed to. They seek to understand their needs and desires as well as their innate limitations.

First-rate leaders support their people in taking the best actions to achieve the most important goals. These leaders recognize and applaud achievements with:

  • letters of appreciation
  • weekend getaways
  • award ceremonies
  • plaques
  • gifts
  • cash awards
  • a handshake
  • a smile

Optimal Thinking leaders:

  1. discover what “the best” means to their people
  2. appeal to their best interests
  3. stimulate in them the desire to be their best
  4. acknowledge them for doing their best

Click here to view a partial list of our clients.

31 Responses to “Executive Coaching for Bad Boss Behaviors”

  1. Catherine G says:

    This post serves as a great reality check for appropriate behavior in the workplace. I am in HR and would like to speak with you about coaching some of our key executives.

  2. Mark B says:

    I left my last two positions because of two jerks that were supposed to be my superiors. They are still in the job and I’m in transition again. It’s a tough world.

  3. Jeremy G says:

    This article is a great checklist. It helped me to assess my effectiveness as a leader. I need to make some changes.

  4. online credit says:

    I am using this information to handle my boss and it is working. Thank you.

  5. J.B. says:

    I have to admit that my last three secretaries would say that I’m a bad boss. I need some executive coaching and will be calling your office.

  6. Brenda S says:

    I just left a job with a lousy boss. This post will help me for my next job. Thanks.

  7. R J says:

    I have a bad boss. Nasty piece of work. Can’t speak up becuase I can’t afford to lose my job. I’m working on your advice.

  8. Computer guy says:

    After reading this post, I realize that I have to lift my game. I am not the boss I should be.

  9. Tony C says:

    Impressive. Thanks for going into detail. It was definitely worth reading. I let myself and my team down because of some bad habits. I’ve read through your website and will be contacting you to get some coaching. Thanks for the practical perspective.

  10. Doug L says:

    My boss is fiery and always thinks he’s right. If the job situation wasn’t so bleak, I’d be out of there. Thanks for this information. It helps.

  11. Wayne T says:

    I have been dealing with a very difficult boss for the past year. Need the job so am sucking it up. Your post was very useful. Thanks.

  12. Anonymous says:

    In no way let another person, especially a bad boss, become your priority even though allowing yourself to be their choice. Great submission!

  13. Cynthia Moore says:

    Hi, I’ve been reading your weblog for about a month now. This life coaching post about dealing with a bad boss really got to me. I’ve read your book and would love to have you as my life coach.

  14. Brent K says:

    My boss is not just bad, he’s the worst. Thanks for this post.

  15. Kenneth Walsh says:

    Your insights have surpassed my expectations. Since I began reading your blog and web pages I have gained new critical information and have had previous information reinforced. I am very interested in obtaining one on one executive coaching from you or one of your executive coaches.

  16. Kathryn B. says:

    Your information here about diagnosing a bad boss is continually valuable… it doesn’t matter how many times look at this! I would love to have some executive coaching to learn how to make the most of the relationship I have with my tough boss.

  17. Racquel Mannine says:

    Your site is exactly what I’ve been seeking. This is a very helpful read. If every author could be as viewer specific as you, everyday living would be far more easy.

  18. Barbara H says:

    Having read your post, I realized I’m in the “bad boss” category. Your posts and the reviews have convinced me that you have what it takes to help. I’ll be contacting you for executive coaching. Thanks for taking the time to write and educate.

  19. Glenn Ogans says:

    Always helpful… no matter how many times I read this!

  20. Mandi says:

    Thanks for making the effort to explain this! Very helpful!

  21. Irv Benson says:

    I work for a bad boss and have to say that you’re analysis is spot on. I would like to hire you to coach my employees to optimize communication skills.

  22. nam says:

    I’ve been working for a bad boss for too long and enjoyed this practical article. Thanks for the great work.

  23. Beatrice L says:

    Great post. I decided I have to lift my game. I need to be a better boss. Thanks.

  24. Jean M says:

    After reading this article, I have some changes to make. Thanks.

  25. Tony S says:

    Excellent post !

  26. Harriet Dristone says:

    You’re a fantastic source of practical unique information. Thanks.

  27. Joanne Rimonne says:

    I heard something about this recently on a local news program. Thanks for this post.

  28. James Willis says:

    Many thanks for the great post. I am glad I have taken the time to see this.

  29. Jen says:

    Wonderful Post

  30. Bea Mostoller says:

    Hello, guys, your blog is really great! I like it.

Leave a Reply

Executive coaching with Rosalene Glickman

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