Have you ever had a boss who said things like, “I’m in this manage, not to be liked?” If so, chances are pretty good that you actually didn’t like that boss, and, further, didn’t find that person to be an especially good boss. This is because people who like their supervisors tend to find those likable managers to be better leaders. The Harvard Business Review recently reviewed effective leadership styles and realized that people were ranking their bosses in a way that seemed to indicate likability, not leadership style, was the main factor in perceived effectiveness. To test this, the HBR created a Leader Affect Questionnaire, a simple 5-question assessment measuring the extent to which a person likes his or her manager. They found that workers who liked their leaders also rated those leaders as more transformational, ethical, and authentic—and also less abusive.
The reason this winds up being so important is that employees who like their bosses are more satisfied at work, more willing to take on new tasks, and to go beyond stated duties in order to meet a challenge.
If you are a supervisor, do your staff members like you? If you’re an employee, do you like your boss? If you answered no, what do you want to change?