Are Managing or Interacting Skills More Valuable for Leaders?


After conducting thousands of interviews with leaders at companies across the globe, DDI concluded that interacting is more critical to successful leadership than managing.

Leaders, according to DDI, currently spend around 41 percent of their time managing and the rest interacting. However, most of them said they would prefer to double the time spent interacting and cut their managing time in half. The reason most do not, the study reported, was that they believe their superiors value company leaders displaying management competencies over interpersonal skills.  

DDI suggests that companies begin stressing the importance of interacting among their leaders. One way to do this is to seek employee feedback of how well their managers are engaging with them on the job. Companies can also teach leaders cultural competence so that they will be able to communicate and collaborate better with employees from different cultural backgrounds. In addition, companies can ensure that their selection and promotion systems include a valid measure of interaction skills.

If companies want their leaders to be more satisfied in their positions, and if they want to build the strong sense of support and connectedness that high rates of interacting creates, they should signal to their leaders that building interpersonal relations at work is just as important as doing administrative management tasks.