Emotional Intelligence is a key trait for managers

The key to choosing effective and engaging managers lies in the arena of emotional intelligence.

What qualifies someone to take on a management position? Their years of experience with a company? Their personality? A new Gallup analysis has found that many companies choose the wrong candidate when they name a manager. In fact, the study determined that businesses only pick the right person for a position about 20 percent of the time. 

Good managers are key to a company's success. They need to inspire their team members to be productive and be able to identify issues regarding stress or wellness before they get out of hand. But as noted by the Gallup study, bad managers are the norm in most organizations, and can result in billions of dollars being lost each year. 

Writing a guest column in the Harvard Business Review, Gallup researchers Randall Beck and James Harter said organizations need to prioritize finding and hiring effective managers. 

"Companies should systematically demand that every team within their workforce have a great manager," Beck and Harter wrote. "After all, the root of performance variability lies within human nature itself. Teams are composed of individuals with diverging needs related to morale, motivation, and clarity—all of which lead to varying degrees of performance. Nothing less than great managers can maximize them."

According to Gallup's research, the most effective managers possess all of the following characteristics:

  • They are assertive enough to drive outcomes and overcome resistance
  • They base their decisions on productivity, not politics
  • They build relationships based on trust and full transparency 
  • They can motivate every employee on their team with a compelling vision
  • They create a culture of clear accountability.

Gallup found that about one in 10 people possess all of the necessary traits to be a good manager. Most large companies have one manager for every 10 employees. It's likely that plenty of good managers are already in an organization, but they're currently in the wrong position. 

The key to choosing effective and engaging managers lies in the arena of emotional intelligence (EQ). Individuals with high EQ have the resilience to perform under pressure, the competencies to build trusting relationships, the courage to make decisions and the vision to create future success.

EQ is a skill that can be measured and improved. Many organizations have used Essi Systems' EQ Map to assess the emotional intelligence of their leaders. EQ Map is a scientifically sound, business-proven assessment that directly measures hard-to-gauge factors, like resiliency and emotional intelligence, so companies can pinpoint hotspots and target improvements to increase the performance and engagement of their leaders. When it comes to choosing the right person to manage others, knowing and developing their EQ strengths and vulnerabilities is critical to successful, sustainable outcomes.

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