​What CEOs Don’t Know [& The Fix]

May 25, 2018

You’d assume that the CEO would understand everything about his/her company.

And for the most part, he/she does. Operationally speaking.

But there’s one skill many CEOs are missing, and that is human-ness.

Let’s take a look at how a lack of human-ness impacts the organisation:

This graph by Futurehrtrends confirms that the management of people, aka human-ness, is one of the biggest challenges facing organisations today, and is the greatest concern in the years to come.

How lack of CEO human skills impacts companies

According to a study of 200 CEOs who lead 50 employees or more, the majority of CEOs indicate an inability to:

  • Align employee output to corporate objectives
  • Implement cross department collaboration
  • Improve employee motivation

Although other lesser elements come into play, like technology and systems, these are all skills related to understanding the human nature, as well as interpersonal skills like communication.

Related: Evaluating An Executive Search Company: 6 Questions to Ask

Root causes of a lack of human skills and the fixes

Lack of communication skills

Without effective communication, all the reasons why you were made CEO are for nought.

Because if what’s in your head can’t be delegated and sufficiently expressed to others, your knowledge becomes useless.

While at first it may seem to you like excessive communication, start communicating everything (where relevant) that affects any of your staff members, or the organisation. Watch people’s non-verbal cues in meetings and try to put a name on what they’re thinking.

Consistently and repeatedly reinforce the idea of how vital communication is in the organisation. Communicate organisational values, mission and goals regularly in a way that is understood on all levels, and communicate about the importance of these elements.

Ensure that those in the organisation - at any level - who are responsible for any form of communication, are doing it well. Put KPI’s and rewards in place to show how serious communication is.

As the CEO, attend communication skills training, and promote it throughout the company.

Once you as the CEO are seen to place high value on communication as a skill, it will filter to the rest of the company. Once this happens, cross department collaboration, employee motivation and even aligning employee output to corporate objectives will improve.

Wharton University of Pennsylvania states that,

Chief executives need to focus on communications as a management capability much more seriously than they typically do.”

Related: Techniques The World’s Best Companies Use For Hiring Top Talent

Lack of emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) arms CEOs with the ability to recognise and interpret the unspoken, so when a CEO possesses this rare skill, they are able to look behind the spoken word to see what’s really going on in the hearts of both employees, partner members and clients.

Unfortunately, emotional intelligence is not easily learned, although it can be by becoming aware of other human beings, and focusing on:

  • Your own feelings - you can’t interpret the feelings of others when you are unable to first interpret your own.
  • Managing your own negative emotions. Staying calm when you may feel a raging fire inside, in order to evaluate the situation before acting out.
  • Experiment by first avoiding jumping to conclusions about anyone or any situation. Present in your own mind, the many different scenarios that could be truth instead of the most obvious conclusion which may be incorrect. Try to come at every situation, from every different angle.
  • Manage conflict by seeking to understand.

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