All too often leaders fail to understand and fully embrace the benefits of psychology on engagement in their workplace. As a leader, it’s incumbent upon you to achieve the highest possible return on assets…and human capital is the most valuable asset you have.

More than ever before, because of the realities that stem from the worst economic downturn in the history of our country, demanding customers, a shortage of top-tier talent, and limited resources, leaders today are tasked with doing more with less and yielding better results for the company’s bottom–line.

Research has shown according to Robert Half International that the average person works at about 50 percent of their capacity. The research showed that this generally can be attributed to unclear job assignments, failure to understand priorities, poor leadership and direction, and a lack of feedback.

So here is the critical lesson for leaders today, how you actually treat people, what you literally say and do has a direct impact on their emotions! It does not matter how much education, intelligence or experience you have as a leader, if you can’t connect with your team’s emotions you will ultimately fail. Influence is the new currency that leaders must have to build high levels of employee satisfaction and engagement. To get the maximum return on your human capital, you must develop leaders with the tools to understand how people think, and the ability to know what the intrinsic and extrinsic drivers are behind why people do or don’t do things.

The critical psychology 20th century breakthrough research on “self-concept” should be leveraged in all leadership development programs today more than ever, because each person has a self-concept that will predict performance in every area. The “self-concept” holds the key for leadership to understanding how all human beings’ personality, performance, productivity, and happiness is aligned.