Managers Think They're Better Than They Are
The illusory superiority trap is a well known psychological bias whereby we generally think we're better than we actually are. Thus it's common when studies reveal problems in your area that it is something that affects other people rather than yourself.
A new study hopes to destroy that myth though. The research, conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), suggests there is a reality gap between how good managers think they are, and how good their teams think they are.
The results revealed that around 75% of managers thought they were doing a great job. When their team was asked however a mere 50% agreed with them.
Ben Willmott, of the CIPD, said managers needed to take a long look in the mirror.
"Leadership and management capability continues to be an Achilles' heel for UK plc, despite mounting evidence that these are skills for growth essentials," he said.
"Our research shows almost three in 10 people have direct management responsibility for one or more people in the workplace, and yet only just over half of employees are satisfied with their manager.
"A small increase in capability across this huge population of people managers would have a significant impact on people's engagement, wellbeing and productivity."
The report follows hot on the heels of related research suggesting that just 10% of employees are fully engaged at work.
CIPD claim that a major part of the problem is the poor feedback given to employees by managers. Three quarters of managers said they always or sometimes discuss employees’ development and career progression during one to ones, but just 38 per cent of employees said this happens.
New research suggests that the key to good quality feedback is the self-confidence of the manager. If they are confident they will gladly provide candid feedback, be that good or bad. If they're not confident however they will look to sugar coat the feedback or even not give it at all.
Considering research has showed that people value self-esteem boosts above all else, a worthy first step on the road to better management would be to make managers feel a bit better about themselves.