According to a preliminary study sponsored and conducted by Monica Wofford International, most middle managers do not have the emotional intelligence (EQ) skills required for good leadership.
“While most companies realize that top managers have well-developed EQ, they don’t know how their managers’ specific EQs stack up,” said Monica Wofford, president of Monica Wofford International. “Without knowing the exact EQ areas in which their managers need help, businesses cannot provide the individually tailored leadership training that results in improvements in job performance that can be measured.”
Many middle managers, however, are not eager to partake in coaching or training that could help boost their job performance, the study found. Further, the unhappiest middle managers are the ones who are the least likely to take advantage of this sort of opportunity.
The study focused on several hundred middle managers at major corporations, including Fortune 1000 companies, and it do so using a multidimensional personality analysis tool, CORE Personal Effective Profile (PEP), which measures individuals’ personality developmental level and their coping skills under stress, according to www.thepersonalbest.com.
CORE PEP also helps to identify how much a person has developed his or her EQ, accordingly helping that person determine the specific coaching and training necessary for optimal results.
The four temperaments/personalities that were measured in the study were:
- Commander (authoritative attribute)
- Organizer (problem-solving attribute)
- Entertainer (creative attribute)
- Relater (team-building attribute)
The study found that only 42 percent of the respondents showed they could shift among all four attributes to work with myriad people with unique personalities in different settings and situations.
Additionally, here is a breakdown of respondents’ perceptions of their having the aforementioned personality attributes compared with what is really the case.
- Commander: About 40 percent of the respondents said they are strong in this area, but only 24 percent actually are.
- Organizer: About 30 percent of the respondents said they are strong in this area, but fewer than 13 percent actually are.
- Entertainer: Seven percent of the respondents said they are strong in this area, and 21 percent actually are.
- Relater: Five percent of the respondents said they are strong in this area, and 7 percent actually are.
“The differences between the middle managers’ self-perceptions and what CORE PEP revealed about the way they are actually functioning on a daily basis points to a need for targeted training and coaching to help them develop all of these leadership attributes, as well as the ability to shift among them for maximum effectiveness,” Wofford said. “Most management training focuses on commander attributes, but in truth, top managers need to be able to exercise all four attributes in varying situations.
“To be effective, training and coaching must be tailored to the needs of an individual doing a specific job — generic training is no longer a viable solution. CORE PEP helps determine which type of training or coaching is best for an individual in a certain job or a team performing a certain function. It can also reveal the need to move a person to a different position that requires more of that person’s innate strengths.”
Further, Wofford said the study sheds light on the potential impact on coaching for middle managers.
“The consequences for training are enormous,” Wofford said. “Companies must first gain employees’ trust to benefit from the billions spent each year on training. Using CORE profiling, a clear picture can be developed of where each employee is and what specific training and/or coaching can help that employee become happier and more effective at his or her job.”