If people skills are so important

…then why are so many upper management types colossal douchebags?

Seems like the optimal way to move up is to actually be a mega-jerk instead.


Being a mega-jerk is part of having expert people skills. People skills are used to move people’s thoughts and actions towards your goal. Some times being a mega-jerk from a position of authority is the best* way to mover people.



they’re nice to the peeps above them, but they’ll be total jerkoffs to u

two-faced bastards

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I think he sold his account

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Career advancement and job performance are not related. Advancement is all about how the higher ups perceive you are doing. Giant douchebags make a lot of noise and are seen as aggressively solving problems. Therefore the perception is they are doing more then everybody else and they get promoted to their highest level of incompetency. In addition, if a manager has a really talented employee, it is to the manager’s benefit to not promote that employee. A promotion means losing those hard to find skill sets. So when promotions are set to be passed out, managers are more likely to move along less skilled and pain in the ass employees. Because of these two things, a disproportionate percentage of upper management is made up of douchebags.

I think the “colossal douchebags” perception is driven largely by how out-of-touch modern executives have become. Maybe executives were always extremely disconnected, but it’s become more obvious to me.

Executives are “trying” harder these days to reach out to employees for things like mental health, workplace flexibility, diversity, workplace culture, among a growing list of other things (all important issues), but it seems like every time they come out with something it’s almost guaranteed to be tone deaf and miss the mark in a major way.

The reason they miss the mark so often is because they don’t really care. They’re just doing these to ease their guilt from high salaries and privilege, and that helps them feel better about their power, their decisions, and the way they speak to/treat others.

“Am I a jerk? No, I implemented unconscious bias training I purchased from some company without even seeing how it relates to my staff or their current challenges, so I couldn’t possibly be a jerk. In fact, I’m awesome!”

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I always felt sorry for the people who had to make those training videos.

They probably love making those training videos.

A less charitable interpretation may be that, ultimately, companies will chose control over trust. Line level management can be emotionally intelligent. But senior management has to be willing to make shareholder value the highest priority.

Couldn’t it be that this is just OP’s perception and not necessarily reality? Or are we sold on all wealthy people are scumbags?

I’ve seen study results that (on average) emotional intelligence goes down as you go up in management, meaning on average a c suite manager has less eq than a line level manager.

This doesn’t mean all wealthy people are scum bags, or that all c suite managers only see people as means to an end. I know for a fact that is not true.

But i think there is a disconnect between this ideal of empowering employees, and the reality that, if things are going poorly, a manager is probably not going to be asked how they are empowering employees. They will be asked about mechanisms for accountability, which usually means control.

That’s pretty vague, maybe it’s selection bias? Run 100 studies and all…

Just feels like a very /r/antiwork thread, haha

I saw it in training on emotional intelligence, as i recall. I didn’t read a peer reviewed paper or anything.

Googling it, im having trouble finding similar results, but that may be because there are so many “noise” results talking about how important eq is to leadership.

So i suppose somebody could have been trying to sell me something on how to “improve” eq in leadership, which would have required a problem in the first place. But I remember it looking legit.

I have people skills

It was pretty funny, six days ago.