Leaders with high EQ perform better. That's been verified by research out of Yale that found being more emotionally attuned helps leaders make better decisions. Another study showed that higher EQ was also equated with higher earnings.
Look at these findings are you'd think that most people rising through the ranks to leadership positions would have at least the fundamentals of relating well with others down. But according to a new poll of 1,000 workers from coaching company Interact and Harris, you'd be very wrong.
The survey asked respondents about how their managers were doing when it comes to the softer side of leadership. The response: pretty lousy. "The data shows that the vast majority of leaders are not engaging in crucial moments," explains Interact, which calls the findings "startling."
So what are leaders doing that is leading their teams to take such a dim view of their emotional intelligence? Here are the top nine bad boss behaviors in the order which they were most frequently cited.
- You don't recognize their achievements (63 percent)
- You don't give them clear directions (57 percent)
- You don't have time to meet with them (52 percent)
- You refuse to talk to your subordinates (51 percent)
- You take credit for other people's ideas (47 percent)
- You don't offer constructive criticism (39 percent)
- You don't know their names (36 percent)
- You refuse to talk to people in person or on the phone (34 percent)
- You don't ask them about their lives outside work (23 percent)
A few things are notable about this list. The first thing that jumps out, for example, is just how egregious some of these issues are. You don't know you team's names? You won't talk to them? Is this middle school? You'd think remembering employees' names and, you know, occasionally speaking to them would be pretty much a leadership basic, but apparently not.
Second, lots of these concerns are super easy to remedy. If you recognize that you're guilty of not asking your people enough about their lives outside the office, or being a bit of an email addict who is hard to pin down in person, then there's absolutely nothing stopping you from starting to remedy those problems today.
A couple of the concerns that made the list are trickier, however. Giving constructive feedback is one prime example. Even the most well meaning leaders often struggle to balance the desire to be tactful with the need to provide performance-improving feedback. Thankfully, great advice exists if you want to get better at offering your team constructive criticism.
Are you surprised at how common these communication failures are? Are you guilty of any of them?