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Chapter 30. Using Emotional Intelligence... > Organizational Responses to Toxic Ma...

Organizational Responses to Toxic Managers

Toxic managers undermine organizations by damaging morale, diverting people’s energy from productive work, damaging cooperation and knowledge sharing, impairing hiring and retention of the best people, and making poor business decisions. Toxic managers are particularly destructive to a company’s social capital, the trust and relationships within a company that enable people to work together effectively. Helping people to develop their emotional intelligence so that fewer managers behave in toxic ways and others are better able to deal with them will improve a company’s social capital. Organizations that can screen out the most destructive toxic managers in the hiring and promotion processes and forge a culture that encourages the rest to constrain their behavior will create a significant competitive advantage for themselves. This is low-hanging fruit for companies that wish to foster productivity through developing their human capital.

Much of the money companies spend on managerial training does little good. People go to training sessions, learn a set of skills, use them for a few weeks, and then rapidly slide back into old behaviors. There are a number of reasons that the workshops fail to lead to enduring change. One major reason is the failure to provide for the ongoing practice, encouragement, and supervision needed so that the skills continue to be reinforced rather than slip away. Old habits die slowly and people readily slip back into them until they have had extensive practice doing things in new ways.


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