Leadership traits to avoid

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Bad leadership is so widespread that it’s resulted in 45% of the UK workforce leaving their jobs at some point, according to a study by Hub Events

CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on Management Today

The problem with bad leadership traits is that it’s hard to recognise them in yourself – this requires an unusual level of self-awareness of the impact of your actions on others, and sufficient psychological safety among your team members that people will actually tell you how they feel. 

As a result, it’s not difficult to see why Hub Events found that ‘unapproachability’ topped the list of leadership traits that most harms workers. The training provider surveyed over 1,000 employees who have been in full-time employment in their current field of work for a minimum of three years and found that the classic tropes of the bad boss – for example, one who barks impossible demands at the top of their lungs – often ring true; 35% and 33% of workers cited bad communication and aggressive behaviour, respectively, among the worst leadership qualities. 

Diving further into the results, poor listening skills and discrimination were also listed as leadership traits that cause your workers (and almost certainly your business) harm. 

Again, leaders who possess these traits may not realise they have a problem – if employees fear an aggressive leader they may not air their concerns. Meanwhile, a bad listener is unlikely to hear employee concerns anyway.  

A possible solution? Talk to leavers. 

Without fear of repercussions, employees might be more inclined to provide honest feedback at an exit interview. Although it will be too late to improve how you made the leaving staff member feel, from there you can take stock of behaviours which are causing churn at your firm and take steps to correct matters. 

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