Interpersonal Skills Lacking in Newly Hired Executives

Seventy-five percent of newly hired executives report having trouble with interpersonal skills, according to a new study released by the Institute for Executive Development and Alexcel. In short, while strong technical expertise and prior management experience might have gotten them the job, after two years in the position, they were underperforming and 27 percent of the hires had left the organization. What a waste!


Think of the expense to hire, the loss of time and productivity, not to mention the reduction of employee goodwill and morale. I can hear the rank and file muttering about the idiots who are making hiring decisions. To support successful executive transitions for both both external hires and internal transfers, consider a robust onboarding process, mentoring from key executives, and executive coaching from external or internal consultants. In my practice, we’ve found that candid feedback (backed by 360 assessments) coupled with a specific development plan and strong support from senior management makes a tremendous difference. Interesting, isn’t it: we stumble at our most human skill: communication.

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