Not So Boss

Do leaders’ communication skills get better and better as they ascend the power rungs?

No. But, according to studies, plenty of these ascendant leaders mistakenly believe that they are knocking their speechifying and one-on-ones out of the park. Why the disconnect? What aren’t these bosses saying, hearing, and doing?



It’s much easier to research what people are doing than why they are doing it. But, one probable reason for the great power/dodgy communication trend is that people are less likely to give higher-ups honest feedback.

👑 “How did I do?”
🥴 “Great. So great.”

When it comes to sifting through what these leaders are doing wrong, Harvard Business Review reported out on a Harris poll of 1,000 US employees. The topic? Communication issues that get in the way of effective leadership…

HBR. Communication Issues That Prevent Effective Leadership
i.     Not recognizing employee achievements. 63%
ii.    Not giving clear directions. 57%
iii.   Not having time to meet with employees. 52%
iv.    Refusing (!) to talk to subordinates. 51%
v.     Taking credit for others’ ideas. 47%
vi.    Not offering constructive criticism. 39%
vii.   Not knowing employees’ names. 36%
viii.  Refusing to talk to people on the phone or in person. 🤯 34%
ix.     Not asking about employees’ lives outside work. 23%


Header Photo: Johnny Briggs



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Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton