Today’s workplace is very different from what it was fifty years ago. Globalization has created a rich, complex, and diverse working environment that requires teamwork and effective communication. People from all over the world with many different backgrounds work together daily and must be willing to understand and support one another. Business leaders have always needed to understand psychology, and leadership development in this field has never been as crucial as it is in this day and age. Here’s how understanding psychology can make you a better boss.

Psychology Training Can Teach You How to Be a Better Boss

Although many people believe that the only job you can get with a psychology degree is a psychologist, it’s a very versatile degree with many applications. Psychology is helpful in fields like advertising and marketing, customer service, and business leadership. Having some training in psychology can help you learn how to become a better boss and improve outcomes within your organization.

Pursuing an online degree in Psychology is not limited to reading books and attending a physical school. Psychology can help give you plenty of insights on how you can apply specific skills within yourself as well as assess the people you work with within a particular scenario.

Knowing how humans think and behave can also help you become more hirable. Business leaders with psychology training are in high demand. In fact, for professionals trained in this field job openings will increase by 14 per cent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s because employers know the value of psychology training In leadership. You can be a better boss when you know how to communicate, lead effectively, and empathise with other employees.

Employees Need Opportunities to Evolve Constantly

Today’s worker wants fulfilling work, not just a job. They want to be able to advance in their careers, take on new challenges, and evolve to stay engaged. As a result, influential leaders need to be constantly looking for these opportunities for each employee and must be able to see beyond what employees say. Most people won’t come right out and say what they want—and they may not even know what they want in the first place—so a leader needs to be able to read between the lines and understand non-verbal clues about what their team members need. It’s the ability to lead both groups and individuals effectively that sets great leaders apart.

Positive Psychology Promotes Growth and Can Help You Be a Better Boss

It’s not just employee fulfilment that demands constant growth and change from the workforce. The demands and job descriptions are evolving all the time and employees need to be able to keep up. In one survey of American employers, 61 per cent of business leaders believed that employee job roles have transformed. It’s the leader’s responsibility to help employees grow and improve throughout their tenure at the company. When hired, a person’s abilities and enthusiasm shouldn’t be viewed as static. People will grow and change during employment, and leaders can leverage positive psychology to help ensure that this growth is positive.

Positive psychology helps leaders to see and develop the strengths in their employees rather than drawing too much attention to their weaknesses. Leaders can use the concepts of positive psychology to instil a “growth mindset” in their employees, which relies on effort, continual and collaborative feedback, and informal collaboration to improve. In the workplace, working toward a shared purpose can help leaders develop and guide the growth process for each employee.

In leadership, relationships are the most important factor. Positive psychology concepts encourage frequent communication between employees and their managers, which helps team members feel valued. In creating a productive, safe, and friendly environment, there’s nothing more powerful than regular positive and constructive communication.

Simple Psychological Concepts To Enhance Leadership

Understanding the human mind is a crucial aspect of effective leadership. By grasping basic psychological concepts such as those that follow, leaders can gain a deeper insight into their team’s behaviour, motivations, and needs.

Firstly, the concept of ‘Emotional Intelligence‘ is paramount. This involves the ability to recognise, understand, and manage our own emotions and those of others. Leaders with high emotional intelligence can foster a positive work environment, as they are adept at handling conflicts and managing stress. A study by the University of Surrey found that leaders with high emotional intelligence were more likely to have teams with higher job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.

Secondly, understanding ‘Cognitive Biases‘ can significantly enhance decision-making skills. These are systematic errors in thinking that affect the decisions and judgments that people make. For instance, the ‘confirmation bias’ is a tendency to search for, interpret, and remember information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs. By being aware of such biases, leaders can make more objective decisions and avoid potential pitfalls.

Lastly, the ‘Self-Determination Theory‘ is another essential concept. This theory suggests that people are motivated to grow and change by three innate needs: competence, relatedness, and autonomy. Leaders who understand this theory can create an environment that satisfies these needs, thereby boosting motivation and productivity.

Models and Theories To Learn in Psychology

Several psychological models and theories can provide valuable insights for leaders.

The ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ is a motivational theory comprising a five-tier model of human needs. Leaders who understand this model can better cater to their team’s needs, from basic physiological needs to self-actualisation.

Another useful model is the ‘Transactional Analysis‘. This theory of personality provides a framework for understanding interactions and communication patterns within a team. By understanding this model, leaders can foster more effective communication and reduce misunderstandings.

The ‘Johari Window’ is a psychological tool that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others. Leaders can use this model to promote self-awareness and encourage open communication within their teams.

How Neuroscience Can Help

Neuroscience, the study of the nervous system and the brain, can offer unique insights into human behaviour and decision-making.

For instance, understanding the concept of ‘Neuroplasticity’ can be beneficial. This is the brain’s ability to reorganise itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Leaders who understand neuroplasticity can promote continuous learning and adaptability within their teams.

Moreover, neuroscience can shed light on the ‘Reward System’ of the brain. This system, which involves a group of neural structures responsible for incentive salience (wanting), pleasure (liking), and positive reinforcement, can be leveraged to enhance motivation and productivity.

In conclusion, a basic understanding of psychology and neuroscience can significantly enhance a leader’s effectiveness. By applying these concepts, leaders can foster a more understanding, productive, and harmonious work environment.

Understanding Human Behaviors Can Help You Manage People Better

When you understand where people are coming from and why they do what they do, you’re better able to empathize and communicate effectively. If you’re trying to understand how to be a better boss, you first need to understand human behaviour.

Once you have a good grasp of the concepts of psychology, you’ll have the tools you need to manage people more effectively. You’ll be able to reduce turnover and boost productivity by really “getting” your team’s needs and catering to them. You’ll be able to develop each employee individually, helping them to feel valued, empowered, and fulfilled. And finally, you’ll be able to develop a sense of loyalty and camaraderie among your team that leads to business growth and success. Positive psychology can be the key to effective communication and better leadership!

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Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He is currently writing a book about scaling up business and his experience implementing lean methodology.