Comms & emotional intelligence | These are the top causes of leadership failures, according to workers

These are the top causes of leadership failures, according to workers

Leadership is a tough responsibility under any circumstances. But it seems some leaders are putting themselves under unnecessary added pressure.

A recent survey conducted by HappierMe, a self-awareness digital platform, has shed light on the most common causes of leadership and management failure. The survey asked 1,000 employees from various industries and sectors to rank the main reasons why they think leaders and managers fail.

According to the survey, the top reason for leadership failure was poor relationship skills, with 40% of the respondents citing this as a major factor. This was followed by weak communication, with 35% of the respondents mentioning this as a key issue.

The third most common reason was lack of self-awareness, with 20% of the respondents indicating this as a significant challenge. Only 5% of the respondents said that leaders and managers fail because they can't handle pressure.

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A lack of self-awareness from leaders when it comes to knowing their own strengths, weaknesses, emotions, biases, and blind spots, was also noted. This can lead to poor decision making, overconfidence, defensiveness, and resistance to feedback. Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence, which can help leaders be more resilient and have healthy relationships.

Self-awareness is a skill that can be learned but is rarely taught. It needs people to be reflective, notice what they are thinking and feeling and then be able to question that. This leads to better decisions and having a more considered response to people and situations.

With poor relationship skills, leaders are unable to build trust, rapport, and collaboration with their teams and other stakeholders. This can lead to isolation, resentment, and disengagement. It can also contribute to high employee turnover from dissatisfied staff.

To improve their relationship skills, leaders and managers need to show empathy, respect, and appreciation to their teams, involve them in decision making, delegate tasks appropriately, and celebrate successes. They need to also support them through their personal challenges and realise that everyone goes through tough times.

Without effective communication skills, leaders are not able to convey their vision, expectations, and feedback clearly and effectively. Communicating with empathy and kindness is a skill that few leaders have. This can lead to misunderstanding, conflict, and low morale. To improve their communication skills, leaders need to practise active listening and develop their self-awareness skills. Offering critical feedback needs great care and emotional intelligence.

An inability to handle pressure can lead to burnout, anxiety and mental health problems. Resilience is a skill that can be learned and comes from separating the job at hand from their emotions about it and accepting that everything is not going to go smoothly. Time management, delegation and proper planning can help.

The good news is that all the skills leaders need to succeed can be learned. All of them have their roots in a deeper self-awareness which is the foundation of emotional intelligence and effective communication. These can contribute to healthier relationships. Self-awareness also allows us to respond with intelligence to challenges, rather than just react to them.

These findings suggest that leaders need to invest more in developing their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, communication and relationships skills.

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