Emotional Intelligence: 19 Signs a Manager hasn't Mastered it

What are the signs that a manager would benefit from developing their emotional intelligence? Here is a whole 19 of them!


Catherine Dulude

Corporate Coach and Business Happiness Consultant

Monday, June 08, 2015


Emotional intelligence is a most important factor when it comes to professional success; it is also a significant advantage in management, and especially leadership. The intelligence of the heart is just as important as the intelligence of the mind and, good news is, it is possible to develop it!

So what are the signs that it would be advantageous for a manager to develop his or her emotional intelligence – a set of skills allowing the individual to generate, recognize, express, understand and evaluate their own emotions and those of others in order to orient their thoughts and more optimally deal with the necessary requirements and stresses?

Here are several signs (19, to be precise) that are worth exploring: the more of them your managers have, the more they would benefit from developing their emotional intelligence!


1. They Do Not  Know Themselves Well

A manager who says they are one type of person but does things that don’t match up with that description doesn’t know him/herself very well! Are they conscious of their strengths and weaknesses? Do the ones they claim to have differ from those that their peers witness?


2. They Do Not Control Their Emotions Well

Do they attack others? Do they take quick and emotional decisions? Do they often rely on stereotypes? Do they have a tendency to lose their temper and dodge responsibility for their actions?

If so, this means that they do not have very good control of their emotions, and that they would greatly benefit from developing this skill as well as the ability to better manage stress.


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3. They Are Not Conscious that Their Actions Affect Others

Controlling our emotions is one thing, but it is a whole other thing to perceive how our reactions affect others. Is your manager conscious of that? Are they able to recognize they have a share of responsibility in a conflict?


4. They Are Not Humble

Having emotional intelligence implies having a certain level of humility in order to be able to clearly see oneself, to open up to others and to be able to face situations as they truly are.

Are they receptive when the time comes to speak of their lacks? Are they of a mind to learn from their mistakes? Are they seeking true retroaction without depending on it at the same time?


5. They Do Not Know Their Core Values

Self-mastery requires the knowledge of one’s own core values – that is, elements for which compromise is not an option. Is your manager able to state what their core values are? Are they reflected in their actions?


6. They Are Not Motivated

Individuals who show a high degree of emotional intelligence are usually motivated, are open to changing immediate plans for long-term success, are productive, and pursue their objectives with tenacity, effort and commitment.

Is your manager able to state what they love in their career? Do they need to be motivated by external elements? Are they motivated to be a leader? Are their employees motivated?


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7. They Lack Optimism

At the foundation of motivation lies the ability to focus on positivity, even when faced with obstacles and problems. Is your manager optimistic and are they solution-oriented?


8. They Lack Empathy or Goodwill

An ability most essential to leadership is the capacity to put oneself in others’ shoes. Ask your manager to do that and see for yourself.

Are they a good judge of character? Are they motivated to help the members of their team grow? Do they perform constructive retraction with their team members? Are they listening to the needs of others?


9. They are Self-Centered

“Yes, but I…” – Do you hear that often, when it comes to justifying a behaviour or to deal with conflict? Do they speak more of how things affect them rather than how they affect others? Are they too sensitive when faced with refusal and critique? Do they hold grudges?


10. They Lack Political Sense

In order to show political sense, one must be able to put oneself in another’s position and adjust in consequence, and in so doing show emotional intelligence. One who is blind to the stakes of their company environment will have a very hard time adapting appropriately.

Do they rush forward too fast? Do they minimize the importance of political play? Are they too result-oriented? Are they too power-thirsty? Do they lack professional ethic? Do they fall victim to political play that they were unable to discern? Do they make significant political mistakes?


11. They Have Difficulty Reading Body Language

Do a little test during a discussion with the manager and determine their capacity to read your body language and adjust accordingly. Play with your facial expressions and body signals in order to see their reaction.

Do they adjust to your signs of not understanding? Do they adjust to a closed body language?


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12. They Are Not Conscious of their Own Body Language

What about their own body language? Are they conscious of its impact on the performance of the employees? Do they have a tendency to adopt one that shows that they are closed? Is there dissonance between what they practice and what they preach?


13. They Do Not Take Responsibility for their Actions

Do they answer for what they do when that hurts or bothers others? Do they have a tendency to blame others for mistakes, faults and bad decisions? Do they admit to their mistakes and do they face the consequences? Are they able to say no firmly?

Accountability is an essential component of leadership and emotional intelligence.


14. They Do Not Manage Conflicts Well

Leadership goes hand in hand with optimized conflict management. Are conflicts being addressed with diplomacy? Do they drag on? Is it often someone else’s fault? In the end, does everyone tend to come out a winner from these situations?


15. They Do Not Communicate Well

Emotional intelligence is based on social skills, and communication is an important component of that. Hence, a leader must know how to communicate well. Is it the case? Could they improve certain aspects of their communication style?


16. They Do Not Listen

If you see that the manager does not listen to you, it is highly likely that they do the same with others. Listening is important on many levels and, most of all, for emotional intelligence.

Does your manager listen to what you have to say until the end? Do they interrupt you? Are they able to summarize what you just expressed? Are they easily distracted? Do they speak more than they listen? Are they able to deal with silences?


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17. They Do Not Let Others Shine

Are they able to let others have a moment of glory, or do they always want it for themselves? Do they constantly seek to be in the spotlight, to the detriment of their teammates?


18. They Are Not Thankful

Leadership involves the ability of motivating others through gratitude. Is this the case with your managers?
Ask their employees, and you will know quickly enough!


19. They Lack Intuition

Emotions help us make good choices and make the right decisions if we allow them to be expressed without taking over. In complex or dangerous situations, emotions tend to be more efficient than logical reasoning.

Intuition is most crucial in a management context, as it is often important to act without knowing the final outcome.

All in all, in order to help your managers develop their emotional intelligence, which is ever-so-crucial for professional success and is an essential component of leadership, it is enough to help them know themselves better and manage their emotions and those of others so as to better interact with them!

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