Employees and Managers: Time for the “Unfiltered Truth” about Job Satisfaction and Competency

Sylvia HeplerThis week, we begin a new series about knowing if you are suited for the right job or position. In this YouTube clip, I answer the question: What are some of the emotional indicators that a person may not be in the right job?

Below are three questions, related to this topic. My answers reflect some of the emotional indicators discussed in the video.

1. What role does emotional intelligence play in finding the right job or position?

Finding the right job requires a solid sense of self awareness, which is the foundational component of emotional intelligence.  You have to know what kind of person you are, how you feel about many different things, and how you react and respond to a variety of situations.  If you are not in touch with your inner self—if you are detached from who you are—then you can expect to land jobs that just aren’t right for you.  If there is a pattern of “wrong jobs” in your life, it may be because you are taking jobs that are not in alignment with the REAL YOU.  Whenever you take actions or make decisions that are out of alignment with who you are at the core, then you open yourself up to disappointment, frustration, and failure.  For example, if you are not a people person, then it wouldn’t make sense for you to accept a customer service position even if offered.

2. When you are coaching an executive, can you tell when his or her employees are unhappy? How do you approach the subject and what guidance do you offer him or her?

Frequently people in management roles hire me to help them learn how to motivate and engage their staff in a way that yields the results they and their companies need to get.  However, even when managers don’t specifically hire me for this type of work, I make it a point to inquire up front about their relationships with employees and the level of staff satisfaction they observe on a daily basis.  So the bottom line is that I don’t wait for the subject to come up during coaching sessions.  I ask about this directly.  I do it because staff satisfaction is a critical foundation for optimal productivity, creativity, and retention.

When it is clear that a manager’s employees are generally unhappy (or even just a few of them), I coach the manager around specific strategies for increasing motivation and engagement as well as content for conversations the person may choose to have with particular employees or all of them.  Employee dissatisfaction cannot be ignored.  Not without a big price.  It must be dealt with, the sooner the better.

3. Have you ever met an executive who was not meant to be a supervisor? How do you handle this?

There are lots of executives and mid level managers who are not well matched to their positions.  In fact, this is a common situation, unfortunately.  If a company is paying me to coach such a person, then I tell the folks who hired me that my professional opinion is that this person should not be supervising staff.  And I am very clear about the reasons supporting my statement.  If a manager hires me on his own and I discover that he should not be supervising employees, then I am candid with this individual in a way that he can hear.  Credible coaching always includes “the unfiltered truth”, but it needs to be communicated professionally– and with empathy.

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