Your Boss Lacks A Surprising Number Of Basic Social Skills

The things that bosses mess up are so embarrassingly simple, you almost feel sorry for them.

Here are the top complaints from employees about their leaders, according to a new survey first written up in Harvard Business Review, which created this nice chart:

Approximately 1.5 gagillion pages, books and articles have been written about how to be an effective leader or a good boss. Approximately the same number of "consultants" exist who will happily take a corporation's money in exchange for helping its managers "lead" with courage or empathy or magic beans, whatever.

Seriously, though, you don’t need to read or spend much to figure this stuff out.

This isn’t about inspiring innovation or anything very complicated. These are basic human social skills -- learning people’s names, actually talking to them, asking about their lives. If you are a boss, please look at this list and internalize its lesson, which is: Be a person and treat your team like people. You don’t even need to hire a consultant to tell you this.

The survey was conducted online in March by Harris Interactive on behalf of Interact, a communications consultancy that helps managers at Fortune 500 companies learn how to be humans. About 1,000 employed adults responded.

But we shouldn't put all the blame our hapless managers. Their own bosses are part of the problem.

"Executives are under extraordinary pressure to do more with less and put a disproportionate focus on short term gains," said Lou Solomon, the CEO of Interact. "Humanness and social sensitivity can take a backseat. Some research shows that power brings with it a little less empathy for individuals. "

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