Have you ever felt you were being “psychologically harassed” on the job? Then you are one of the 41% of Americans who claimed that in a recent study. A bad boss can have a dramatic effect on the physical and emotional well-being of employees. What are some characteristics of an unlikable boss? I conducted an informal survey and here are some of the responses I received:
• FAILS to stay in touch with issues and concerns of individuals.
• Focuses on “getting results” with a LITTLE concern for others’ needs.
• Gives feedback in an UNHELPFUL way.
• Is NOT trusted by team members.
• UNCONCERNED about developing others.
Delivering results. The strongest, most consistent correlations were skills that focused on achieving results. When individuals were able to achieve goals on schedule and did everything possible to get results, managers were impressed. Another critical component was the quality of work. The person needed to deliver outputs that met high standards.
Can you be an effective leader if you are unlikable?
Many people have argued that when you are the Boss you won’t always be liked, because you have to be “the bad guy.” At Zenger Folkman we measured overall leadership effectiveness with a 39-item index covering a variety of different leadership competencies. Results are based on a 51,653 global leaders.
We found a strong correlation between being an effective leader and being likable. In fact, it shows that 90% of leaders will be more effective if they can do something to improve their likability. This is because leadership is a process of influence. If a leader is unlikable, the levers of influence are reduced to either role power or relying on technical expertise. On the other hand, likable leaders can connect in several positive emotional ways.