Through our consulting work and leadership coaching, we’ve seen a growing issue of leaders who are incapable of delivering effective, empathetic, human-centered leadership. Leaders can have great business acumen and experience, but when they don’t have a people-first mentality, they forget one of the core principles of leadership: businesses cease to exist without people.

People issues — such as workplace conflict and stress, home-life stress, anxiety, depression, communication breakdowns and lack of empathy — impact employee engagement. A recent Gallup survey showed record levels of disengaged employees, dropping from a 3-to-1 ratio to 2.2-to-1, the lowest since 2016.

People issues have always existed within business; however, with the multitude of unique stressors that have presented themselves over the last decade — generational transitions, the rise of high-tech utilization and the global pandemic — some startling statistics have formed:

  • Workplace conflict costs U.S. employers around $359 billion in paid hours each year.
  • 49% of workplace conflicts are caused by warring egos.
  • 80% of employees suffer from work-related stress.
  • Anxiety and depression cost the global economy $1 trillion each year.

The SA-EQ Leader

The ability to sense where your people are at, see the intangible barriers in their way, and help them through the use of intentional problem solving and empathetic leadership is more valuable than ever before.

We refer to these type of leaders as socially adept high emotional quotient, or SA-EQ, leaders.

These leaders possess the strength that inevitably lends to increased engagement, higher-performing teams and positive results that every business desires. A common trait in these type of leaders is having knowledge and background in social sciences.

While a background in social sciences such sociology, psychology or social work is not the traditional pathway for business leaders, meaningful educational training and experience in this field can prove to be highly affective. Business leaders with a background in social sciences often have better:

  • People skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Action on social issues
  • Listening skills
  • Communication skills

The strengths gained from training and education in social science become valuable in addressing some of the most pressing concerns of today’s leaders. Financial and business acumen are not enough anymore.

This time is now for this new type of leader to rise. When the business world starts valuing the knowledge and expertise that comes from the field of social sciences, we will see a shift in the number of people issues plaguing success. This shift of focus will build strong, healthy workforces that power them to success.

Is your company in need of leadership coaching? We got you covered. Contact the Vantage Group today.

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