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Closeness Incompetence and Leadership

Anyone who, as a leader cannot respond to the closeness need of employees, because he is not humanly approachable, is distant, or communicates only in writing, chronically demotivates them. Employees want to be able to speak to their boss without fear, they want to pour out their hearts, feel understood and not just used. They  want to be treated with tact and care, and, if mistakes happen they want to be able to speak about it without this affecting the relationship. Leaders with closeness incompetence create fear and exaggerated caution, reduce the information flow from the bottom up, discover mistakes late or not at all and, therefore, they react (too) late. They risk high turnover of staff and attract employees who have, themselves, closeness problems. Secondarily, this leads to poor team cohesion and indirectly fosters power struggles and internal conflicts, of which the leaders have little awareness or which they don’t concern themselves with.



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