If you’re a manager, your employees are probably intimidated by you — no matter how friendly you are — simply because of your position. And when people are intimidated, they’re less likely to offer ideas or point out problems. Keep in mind how your title affects the ways others perceive you. For example, if you ask a tough question about a project, a senior peer might hear a useful critique, while a junior employee might just hear criticism. You should also consider how colleagues view your facial expressions and body language. Is it possible that, say, some employees see your thoughtful frown as an angry scowl? Ask a trusted colleague for feedback about any body language that might be off-putting. You can also try being up front about your tics: “I know that I frown when I’m thinking, but that doesn’t mean I’m upset.” And be mindful of how you react to comments and questions. If you respond negatively when you’re challenged, people will be less likely to speak up in the future.

This tip is adapted from “Managers, You’re More Intimidating Than You Think,” by Megan Reitz and John Higgins

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