Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Studying the Humanities and Leadership
How does studying the Humanities help one be a better leader?
The management consulting and research firm, Hay Group, conducted a survey of employee satisfaction asking what factors made them more or less satisfied in their work (the implication being that satisfied employees do better work... higher quality, greater efficiency, and so forth). With respect to how they viewed their managers and leaders, two main characteristics led to greater satisfaction. If their leaders were seen to possess these two traits, employees were more satisfied and did better work.
Trust and Confidence
If we understand studying the Humanities as a way to gain insight into what it means to be human, as an opportunity for reflecting on who we are, as a practical investigation into the sorts of issues human beings face, as an arena for evaluating values and assumptions, and as something that requires multidimensional expressions of our findings (through written, oral, and other non-linguistic forms of communication), then it's a short step to see how it can contribute towards building these traits in a person. Put differently, this kind of Humanities study helps make us better leaders because it makes us better human beings capable of having more trusting, confident (true to one's self), and communicative relationships with others.