The Dangers Of Negative Leadership Traits (Killing Employee Morale)

If there is good leadership, there are also bad leadership traits, which can harm the whole team. In this post, I’ll explain the dangers of negative leadership traits and how they can kill an employee’s morale.

There are lots of negative leadership traits that a leader can possess. So if you’re a leader, you might want to assess yourself and see if you’re on the right track. 

This is because negative leadership can bring so much danger to a company or organization. These dangers include lack of trust, decreased productivity, micromanagement, poor communication, working without vision, lack of teamwork, unclear standards, bullying, and the biggest deal is killing your employee morale.

Negative leadership traits also result in negative outcomes. There is nothing good you can expect from a negative leader.

So, if you’re a leader or an aspiring one, this article will explain the dangers of negative leadership traits that you need to remember. 

What are negative leadership traits?

Negative Leadership Traits

Before discussing the dangers, let’s see and learn the different negative leadership traits. You can also take this time to assess yourself!

Loud and noisy

Loud and noisy leaders are often seen as leaders who want to be noticed for their voice rather than for their words.

This can damage the team because it can create an environment where people are not listening to each other but rather waiting for the leader to speak.

Giving hard-to-understand and vague directions.

When leaders give unclear instructions, it can confuse those on the receiving end. This can lead to the person who was given instructions going down the wrong path, ultimately hurting the company or team’s goals.

Little or no empathy

Not showing empathy can signal that leaders don’t care about their employees or the people around them. This can come off as cold or uncaring, making it difficult to build trust with the team and leading to poor morale.

Poor listening skills

Leaders who don’t listen well will often take the wrong path because they’re not getting all of their team’s input. 

They may also have trouble making good decisions because they don’t know what their team thinks about their options.

No judgment

No judgment is a state in which the leader has no judgment about anything, including the work people do, their ideas, and even themselves. 

This kind of leader has no opinion on anything, and it can be very upsetting for employees to work with someone who doesn’t have an opinion on anything.

Intolerant and overly critical

This is a very common trait seen in many leaders who don’t have control over their emotions. 

They tend to be very impatient, which causes them to lash out at their employees and other people around them if they don’t get what they want when they want it. This can result in less productivity among their employees, which will eventually cause the business to fail.

Arrogant and boastful

This is when a leader boasts about his or her achievements or thinks they are better than everyone else. It’s not a good trait because it makes other people feel inferior to you and doesn’t help you in any way. It just makes people like you less.

Likewise, a leader who lacks humility can be dangerous to a team because they will have difficulty admitting mistakes and learning from them. 

Unsupportive and toxic

This negative trait can be in the form of a lack of communication or feedback. It can also be seen as being unwilling to give credit where credit is due. 

This type of leadership can also come off as unapproachable and uninviting, which may cause employees to feel discouraged and disengaged from their job.

Pitching a tantrum when things don’t go your way.

Tantrums are not a good thing. They make you look childish and make your team lose respect for you. Sometimes we really need to stand for what we believe in, especially in a workplace, but there’s a huge line between standing up for yourself and losing control of your emotions.

What are the dangers of these negative leadership traits?

So here are the dangers of negative leadership traits to a team. 

Lack of Trust

One danger of negative leadership traits is a lack of trust.

As a leader, it’s your job to establish a foundation for the team you’re in charge of. This starts with trust, and it doesn’t happen overnight. 

When you’re managing people, you need to:

  • Build a relationship with them
  • Encourages them to give their best efforts
  • Communicate honestly with you and each other
  • Feel safe expressing their concerns about the business or their work environment

It takes time to build trust, but if an employee feels betrayed or hurt by what they perceive as your lack of integrity or honesty, they are not going to be motivated by your words or actions.

Decreased productivity

Employees may lose motivation and focus when they feel disrespected or do not feel like their manager is looking out for their best interests. This can be detrimental to their work performance and decrease productivity overall.

For example, if a leader constantly complains about things that don’t work, it can make people feel like nothing is working right. This can lead to low morale, poor quality work, and even increased turnover.


Micromanagement is when a leader continually meddles in the details of employees’ work, despite their understanding of the job or their level of competence.

Micromanagement is an ineffective leadership style, and it can be very harmful to the team. It’s especially harmful when the micromanager doesn’t understand the task and tries to control everything.

The people on your team don’t need you to micro-manage them. They need you to know what you’re doing and trust them to do their jobs, so they can be successful in their careers and personal lives.

Poor Communication

When you’re leading a team, you must communicate effectively with them to keep everything on track toward the same goals. If you cannot do this, your entire team will suffer.

Poor communication can cause many problems within a company, including:

  • Lack of trust between employees and leaders
  • Shared frustration among employees who feel misunderstood or unheard by management
  • Confusion about what tasks are expected from each employee

No Vision Focusing on the Wrong Things

A lack or no vision at all is one of the most common effects of negative leadership traits. Leaders who focus on the wrong things are more likely to fail to see the big picture, which means their teams will often lack direction or purpose. 

They may also have trouble communicating their goals and strategies in a way that inspires others to work together toward a common goal.

Lack of Teamwork

Teamwork is important for any business, as it allows multiple people to pool their resources and skills to achieve a common goal. When there are problems among team members, it can be very difficult for them to work together as effectively as they should.

There are two main scenarios of how negative leadership traits affect teamwork.

  • They can prevent the formation of cohesive teams because they are unwilling to take responsibility for their own shortcomings.
  • They may use their position to put down other people in the office, which leads to a breakdown in communication and trust between workers.

Unclear Standards and Expectations

When leaders are unclear about what they expect from their team, it can lead to uncertainty and confusion. 

This can lead to employees taking on multiple roles, which can be costly for the company. In addition, a lack of clarity around expectations can lead to a lack of accountability for employees and a feeling of helplessness among staff members.

Bullying in workplace

When leaders are aggressive and manipulative, they may push their employees around by making them feel like they don’t have a choice. 

This can lead to bullying in the workplace, which is a form of psychological harassment that can cause severe damage to an employee’s mental health. Bullying can have an impact on productivity and morale, and it can also drive people away from their jobs.

Biggest Danger: Killing employee morale

Morale is the way a person feels about their job. It’s their attitude and outlook, and it can be affected by a lot of things, from work itself to the relationships they have with coworkers and supervisors.

It goes like this.

  • When something good happens at work, like a promotion, a raise, or a new job title, it can boost an employee’s morale. 
  • It can lower morale when something bad happens, like layoffs or missed performance targets.

High employee morale is good for an organization because it leads to higher productivity and lowers employee turnover rates.

An employee’s morale can be affected by several different factors, including:

  1. The pay they receive for the work they do.
  2. Their relationships with other employees and managers.
  3. How much control they have over their workday, including how much autonomy they’re given and whether or not they feel like their opinions are valued.
  4. The level of respect shown towards them by their peers, supervisors, and customers.
  5. The number of personal days they get each year and whether they can take them when needed.

So as you can see, a leader with negative leadership traits can instantly kill an employee’s morale. It’s not something leaders should be proud of. It’s something to be ashamed of.

When you’re killing the morale of your employees, you’re only implying that you’re not a good leader. You don’t deserve to be a leader. 

Ways to boost or save your employee’s morale

If you’re a leader and don’t want to kill your employees’ morale, here’s what you can do.

Give them a break.

It’s essential to take care of yourself and those around you, so make sure that everyone gets their much-needed breaks. No one can function effectively if life gets draining.

Encourage them.

Instead of just telling them what they’re doing wrong, use positive reinforcement and encouragement to help them succeed.

Praise their achievements. 

Giving praise or rewards when someone has done something great can motivate them to keep working hard!

Pay attention to how they’re feeling at work. 

Are they happy? Sad? Confused? Take note of any mood changes and try to identify the cause, then do what you can to help solve it.

Offer rewards for good work!

If an employee has done something especially great, don’t be afraid to offer them a reward, whether it’s a gift card, their favorite food from the break room fridge, or both! 

This can help boost morale even further because you can show them your appreciation for their hard work and want them to feel valued at work, which is important if you want them to do an excellent job and stay with your company long-term!

Get to know them personally. 

You don’t need to hang out with them outside of work, but it’s good to get to know their interests and hobbies to relate better when discussing work issues. This also helps build trust between you and them, and trust is key!

Negative leadership traits can be broken!

The dangers of negative leadership traits are real, but they don’t have to be the end of your career.

As you can see, these can greatly impact your company culture and productivity. If you like to ensure that your staff stays happy and productive, you might want to double-check that you’re not exhibiting any of these traits yourself.

If you’re struggling with negative leadership traits, it’s important to recognize that they’re not who you are. They’re just bad habit that needs to be broken.

If you want to break this habit and become a better leader, tons of resources are available to help you. Try reaching out to other leaders for advice, or consider joining a professional organization to help you develop as a leader. You can also take a class on leadership skills in your community.

Don’t let negative leadership traits prevent you from achieving your goals and treating your employees the way they deserve!

Garo Kotchounian

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