How can I tell if my boss is lacking emotional intelligence?

It is easy to identify when a boss has good emotional intelligence, and when he doesn’t

Does my boss lack emotional intelligence?

Does my boss lack emotional intelligence?

You already know it.  Think about your best boss. Let’s examine his or her behavior, shall we? Think about why you consider this person to be your best boss. Think about the relationship you have. As you answer these items, mostly likely you will say this is not the boss who micro-managed you, who embarrassed you or did not provide you with learning opportunities. This is not the boss who made you feel small. This is not the boss who was impatient.


Rather, this was a boss who cared about you as a person. This boss was concerned about developing you.  They  managed their emotions especially when they were angry, they did not let it out on others.  Your boss encouraged you to achieve goals that you may not even think you can achieve and gave you the support and tools to succeed.  Your boss fostered positive relationships with others and encouraged you to do the same. You will likely say you had a strong emotional connection with that boss. This boss most likely had high emotional intelligence.


You don’t park your emotions in the parking lot when you come to the office every day. You bring your emotions with you. Emotions are like the flu. When the boss enters the room in a bad mood, everybody catches that mood. The tension and stress in the office increases. Fear increases. People start looking over their shoulders, afraid to make mistakes and are paralyzed in making decisions. Productivity goes down, job satisfaction goes down, attrition goes up.


Whereas if you have a boss with high emotional intelligence, the environment will be far more pleasant. This boss is willing to develop you, values your contributions and sees you as a person. He does not see you as just a subordinate. When you have this type of boss with a high emotional intelligence, you will most likely want to stay and do your best. You have a pleasant and rewarding environment. Studies have shown that 50% of life satisfaction comes from the relationship with your boss. If you don’t have a relationship that’s positive, most likely, you will leave.


My social media manager told me about a company where the boss needed emotional intelligence help. She berates her employees, shows them little respect and talks about them behind their backs. She thinks this is normal…everybody should expect it. She also has a high attrition rate. Only one person has stayed longer than a year. That person is a remote worker 800 miles away.


Liza Sichon is the founder of Executive HR Coach. She coaches executives and their teams on how they can meet their financial goals, advance their careers and live fulfilling lives.  For more information, visit her website and

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