Have you heard the saying that goes something like this: if you don’t know who the office jerk is, it’s probably you?
You might be a well-intentioned manager that feels like a team player, but there might be something about your approach that prohibits your employees and colleagues from agreeing.
Columbia Business School suggests those who are rough around the edges at work don’t necessarily know it. “Finding the middle ground between being pushy and being a pushover is a basic challenge in social life and the workplace. We’ve now found that the challenge is compounded by the fact that people often don’t know how others see their assertiveness,” says Daniel Ames, a professor of management at Columbia and co-author of the new study.
Some results of the study show:
- 57% of people actually seen by their counterpart as under-assertive thought they had come across as appropriately assertive or even over-assertive.
- 56% of people actually seen by their counterpart as over-assertive thought they had come across as appropriately assertive or even under-assertive.
So now that we’ve got a 50/50 chance of falsely assessing our workplace behavior, what can you do to ensure you’re a more approachable but not a pushover boss?
Let employees and colleagues know your door is always open. Allow a safe space for honesty and ensure there will be no negative consequences for it.
Watch your body language
Maintain positive body language by sitting up straight and actively listening, smile and exercise welcoming posture by keeping your arms uncrossed.
Keep your emotions in check
Your employees need to know they can share information with you without causing an emotional response that may or may not be appropriate to the situation. Even if you’re frustrated or stressed, maintain a level expression of emotion which will save the moment and allow you time to consider what the productive next steps should be.
If you ask a question convinced you already know the answer, that will show and your employee will get frustrated knowing you’re not listening. Keep both ears open and be present in the conversation so your team will feel valued and offer feedback more frequently.
Do you want to motivate and lead your staff more effectively? My executive coaching services can help you hone your leadership skills and clearly define your goals and objectives.