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The Unlikable Leader: 7 Ways To Improve Employee/Boss Relationships

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There is a secret to becoming a more likable leader. It doesn’t have to do with how tall and charming you are, or how often you give employees a raise. In fact, we have evidence that the majority of the behaviors displayed by the most likable leaders have to do with the way they interact with employees on a day-to-day basis. But first, does being liked by your employees even matter?

In a study of 51,836 leaders, we identified 27 who were rated at the bottom quartile in likability but were in the top quartile for overall leadership effectiveness. That equates to approximately 1 in 2000 cases that a boss who is highly unlikable appears in the top quartile of overall effectiveness. Apparently, being liked by your employees does matter…a great deal! So, if you choose to be more likable, what can you do?

Join Jack and Joe to learn the 7 key actions that our research shows will substantially increase your likability score! Register and attend the webinar and you’ll have the opportunity to take our complimentary “Likability Self-assessment."

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The Unlikable Leader: 7 Ways To Improve Employee/Boss Relationships

  1. 1. © 2017 Zenger Folkman The Unlikable Leader: 7 Ways to Improve Employee-Boss Relationships Presented by: Dr. Jack Zenger and Dr. Joe Folkman
  2. 2. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Agenda • Impact of likability • Who can benefit from becoming more likable? • The Likability Challenge • 7 behaviors that will increase likability • How can you measure your likability?
  3. 3. © 2017 Zenger Folkman 1. Fails to stay in touch with issues and concerns of individuals. 2. Has very poor cooperation within his team. 3. Is not a role model, sets a bad example. 4. Focuses on "getting results" with little concern for others' needs. 5. Gives feedback in an unhelpful way. 6. Is not trusted by team members. 7. Uninspiring. 8. Is not trusted to use good judgment. 9. Says one thing and does another. 10. Unconcerned about developing others. Characteristics of an Unlikable Boss
  4. 4. © 2017 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. Can You Be an Effective Leader if You Are Unlikable? 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Bottom 10% Next 25% Middle 30% Next 25% Top 10% OverallLeadershipEffectiveness Likeability Impact of Likeability on Leadership Effectiveness
  5. 5. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Why Being Unlikable Thwarts a Leader’s Effectiveness 1. Leadership is a process of influence. 2. If the leader is unlikable, the behaviors of influence are reduced to: • Role or power—using the authority of your office. • Relying on technical expertise. 3. The likable leader can connect in several positive, emotional ways: • Getting others to embrace an exciting vision. • Engaging others in a noble cause. • Personal influence: “Win this one for the gipper.” • Marshaling the influence of a team win. • Inspiring loyalty and personal commitment in others.
  6. 6. © 2017 Zenger Folkman We measured employee engagement with a five item index that we have found to be a reliable indicator of engagement and satisfaction. Results are based ratings from direct reports on a 45,353 global leaders. Does Likeability Impact the Engagement of Direct Reports? 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Bottom 10% Next 25% Middle 30% Next 25% Top 10% EngagementPercentile Likeability Impact of Likeability on Engagement of Direct Reports
  7. 7. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Who is More Likable? Women are more likable than men Supervisors are more likeable than Sr. and top managers 49 53 40 50 60 Male Female LikeabilityPercentile Gender 48 47 50 58 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Top Management Senior Management Middle Manager Supervisor LikeabilityPercentile
  8. 8. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Do We Become More Likable as We Age? 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Up to 25 26 - 30 31 - 35 36 - 40 41 - 45 46 - 50 51 - 55 56 - 6061 and over LikeabilityPercentile Age Likeability by Age and Gender Male Female
  9. 9. © 2017 Zenger Folkman There is a Gradient to Likability Likable Rarely Unlikable Occasionally Unlikable Somewhat Unlikable Unlikable
  10. 10. © 2017 Zenger Folkman 90% of Leaders Will Be More Effective if They Can Do Something to Improve Their Likeability 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Bottom 10% Next 25% Middle 30% Next 25% Top 10% OverallLeadershipEffectiveness Likeability Impact of Likeability on Leadership Effectiveness
  11. 11. © 2017 Zenger Folkman John H. Sununu, Assistant While Serving as Chief of Staff to George H. W. Bush Question— “Why is it that people take an instant dislike to me?” Answer— “Uh, well, I don’t exactly know, sir…but I think it just saves them a lot of time.”
  12. 12. © 2017 Zenger Folkman So, If You Choose to Be More Likable, What Can You Do? To understand what actions most influence a person’s likability, we looked at 360-degree assessment data from more than 51,000 leaders. The results highlighted seven key behaviors that would substantially increase likability scores. 1. Increase positive emotional connections with others. 2. Display rock solid integrity. 3. Cooperate with others. 4. Be a coach, mentor, and teacher. 5. Be an inspiration. 6. Be visionary and future focused. 7. Ask for feedback and make an effort to change.
  13. 13. © 2017 Zenger Folkman 1. Increase Positive Emotional Connections With Others For every interaction you have with another person there is an impact: - Positive - Neutral - Negative You can have a significant positive impact on the emotions of others. Newton's third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction
  14. 14. © 2017 Zenger Folkman 1. Increase Positive, Emotional Connections With Others, cont. Social Media • Dr. Berger found that positive, emotionally arousing messages were more likely to be shared. • They had a higher chance of achieving that golden standard: going viral. Instead of the age-old adage, “If it bleeds, it leads,” start thinking, “If it cares, it shares.” — Dr. Jonah Berger, a social scientist, U of PA
  15. 15. © 2017 Zenger Folkman A Young Boy Loses Favorite Stuffed Animal, Joshie The Giraffe When Chris Hurn’s family came back from their holiday at the Ritz- Carlton on Amelia Island in Florida they unfortunately returned without Joshie The Giraffe, Chris’s young son’s ‘best friend’! Chris explained that there was nothing to worry about and that Joshie was having a little extra holiday and that he was fine. His son seemed to accept this and dropped off to sleep! Ritz-Carlton called to say that they had found Joshie and handed him over to the hotel’s Loss Prevention Team. Chris told them about his ‘little white lie’ about Joshie’s extra holiday and wondered if they would mind taking a picture of Joshie.
  16. 16. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Joshie The Giraffe Story Turns Into A Viral Sensation
  17. 17. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Developmental Suggestion Bring your positive emotions to work and share them with everyone. If you are angry or upset, stay home, or at least stay in your office! Your emotions are contagious.
  18. 18. © 2017 Zenger Folkman 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Bottom 10% Next 25% Middle 30% Next 25% Top 10% LikabilityPercentile Integrity and Honesty 2. Display Rock Solid Integrity Leaders with the highest Integrity are more likable What is the impact of a person who is charming and personable but you question their motives?
  19. 19. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Developmental Suggestion Do you ever give others the impression that they are “coming along fine,” when in reality they are not? Do you write checks others can’t cash?
  20. 20. © 2017 Zenger Folkman 3. Cooperates With Others • One of the lowest rated items in our Extraordinary Leader 360-degree Assessment is, “Resolves conflict within the work group.” • Many leaders assume that people will work out their conflicts. If this was true there would never be war, global conflicts, or division between people. Have you ever been part of a great team where everyone was united? Have you ever be on the team from Hell? 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Bottom 10% Next 25% Middle 30% Next 25% Top 10% ResolvesConflict Likability
  21. 21. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Many Leaders Feel That They Are in Competition with Others
  22. 22. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Insist that team members work together and cooperate. Seek out those who have differences with you and find a resolution. Developmental Suggestion
  23. 23. © 2017 Zenger Folkman 4. Be a Coach, Mentor, and Teacher How do you feel about a person who has been a coach, mentor, or teacher to you?
  24. 24. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Have a developmental discussion with every person on your team. Find out their aspirations, expectations, and frustrations. Look for opportunities where they can develop new skills. Developmental Suggestion
  25. 25. © 2017 Zenger Folkman 78 22 0 50 100 Drives for Results (Push) Inspires and Motivates (Pull) Percent of leaders who were rated highly on that competency 5. Be an Inspiration Inspires and Motivates Others Competency rated as the most important out of 16 competencies: Based on results from over 60,000 leaders
  26. 26. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Developmental Suggestion Find ways to improve ideas rather then discourage them. Encourage team members to come up with innovative solutions.
  27. 27. © 2017 Zenger Folkman 6. Be Visionary and Future Focused Everyone likes to know where they are headed 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Bottom 10% Next 25% Middle 30% Next 25% Top 10% BeingVisionaryandFutureFocused Likability
  28. 28. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Is the Visionary Leader More Likable? Visionary Leaders • Sets a clear vision • Shares it with others • Frequently reminds their team • Takes necessary detours • Quickly course corrects • Connects each person’s assignment to the vision • Looks around the corner to spot problems
  29. 29. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Developmental Suggestion Clarify the vision and connect it to current projects and assignments. Remind people on a regular basis “where we are and what is our destination.”
  30. 30. © 2017 Zenger Folkman 7. Solicit Feedback and Make Changes 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1st - 10th 11th - 20th 21st - 30th 31st - 40th 41st - 50th 51st - 60th 61st - 70th 71st - 80th 81st - 90th 91st - 100th Asks for and Acts on Feedback LikeabilityPercentile Results based on 60,474 leaders
  31. 31. © 2017 Zenger Folkman As males age they become less coachable while women maintain an above-average level of effectiveness on coachability. Most Start Out Their Career Asking For and Acting On Feedback 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Up to 25 26 - 30 31 - 35 36 - 40 41 - 45 46 - 50 51 - 55 56 - 60 61 and over AskforActonFeedbackPercentile Males and Females have the same level of coachability until age 40 when males decline as a group Male Female
  32. 32. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Developmental Suggestion Set a high bar in asking for feedback. After every meeting ask, “What could I have done to make this meeting more effective?”
  33. 33. © 2017 Zenger Folkman How Likable Are You? Our Recommendation • The easiest and most accurate way to measure your likability is to participate in a 360-degree assessment. • This will give you an open, candid picture of your likability and your effectiveness on the seven behaviors that increase likability. • Many people who have done a 360-degree assessment in the past know of its usefulness, but you need to realize that perceptions of you change over time.
  34. 34. © 2017 Zenger Folkman In Conclusion • Almost every leader will benefit from improving their likability. • It is nearly impossible to be a truly great leader without being likable. • The seven suggestions provide a straightforward, simple approach to improving likability. • If you are unlikable, others want to help you improve. Tell them you want to become more likable.
  35. 35. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Take the Likability Quiz Are you likable? • The BEST way to find out is to participate in a 360-degree assessment. To quickly raise your awareness of behaviors that impact your personal level of likability, take our Likability Quiz. Go to: http://zengerfolkman.com/likability-quiz TAKE OUR QUIZ!
  36. 36. © 2017 Zenger Folkman ANNOUNCING A NEW BOOK BY JACK ZENGER AND JOE FOLKMAN! SPEED: How Leaders Accelerate Successful Execution Available now on Amazon.com
  37. 37. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Come join us for our 2017 Leadership Summit, a true executive forum at Sundance Mountain Resort located in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains. Joining other leaders and professionals from around the world, you will engage with top thought leaders and luminaries in the human performance industry. Attendees and speakers brainstorm in group activities, leveraging new research and insights. Reserve Your Seat Now! LEARN MORE: summit.zengerfolkman.com Engage with Top Industry Experts. Learn From The Best. Network. Post-Conference Workshops.
  38. 38. © 2017 Zenger Folkman Upcoming Events for 2017 Mississauga, ON: June 2 Live Online: June 19 & 21 San Francisco, CA: June 21 San Francisco, CA: June 22 Orem, UT: August 2 Orem, UT: August 3 Sundance Resort, UT November 7–8 The Extraordinary Leader Workshop The Extraordinary Leader 360 Assessment Certification The Extraordinary Coach Workshop The Extraordinary Coach Facilitator Certification 2017 Leadership Summit For more dates and info: www. zengerfolkman.com/events
  39. 39. © 2017 Zenger Folkman TWEET your way to $25! Win One of Three $25 Amazon Gift Cards! • Tweet or re-tweet key learnings from today’s webinar • Include #zfwebinar in your post • The 3 individuals with the most tweets by the end of today will receive a $25 gift card to Amazon.com
  40. 40. © 2017 Zenger Folkman THANK YOU! Better Leaders. Better Results. Zenger Folkman exists to develop better leaders. Why? Because extraordinary leaders transform the world. They form more productive, creative, and flourishing organizations—ones that are simply better in every way. We do this by conducting continuous research on leaders from all over the world. We then turn this research into insights that are delivered to individual leaders in a personal and constructive way. These scientifically derived insights result in prescriptive actions that become measurable business results. www.zengerfolkman.com

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