From experience, here’s my top signs and behavioural patterns that indicate you are dealing with bad management.
They avoid conflict.
The main responsibility of managers is to absorb & handle conflict for they team. If you see them avoiding it, then they will let it spread out until it poisons the entire project & team.
They too busy.
Managers should never be too busy, they should be the one’s who have the most control over their schedule. If they can’t manage they own time and set limits, what will they do for yours?
They don’t want to know.
Good managers always want to know and be deeply aware. If you see your manager avoiding knowing details or key elements about your team’s progress, it means he will probably not understand how to resolve the issues if things go wrong.
They set dead lines for yesterday.
If you ask your manager when a task is due and he tells you “yesterday”. Even if this is said in jokingly matter, it’s a huge sign of incompetence and lack of consideration. Even if a project is late, a manager should always have a forward thinking mindset and be able to set reasonable milestones. If he's unable to do so, then he’s not a manager anymore and you will end up taking full responsibility of “saving” the situation.
The truth of the matter, if you are dealing with bad management, the best you can do is to try to reason with them. But always take in consideration, a project or company that’s under weak management, will go into a downward spiral at an accelerate rate.
Usually, only a high level business crisis or an external highly influential leader might turn the tides but as an employee, you should not take the blame on yourself, try to do the best job you can under circumstances and when things become unbearable, disengage in a responsible way from the organization.