Everybody knows that when you’re chasing your career goals, it pays to set the bar high and approach it with confidence. You can’t be a pussycat.
At the same time, though, you can’t be a tiger, either. If you’re someone who intimidates everyone around you — intentionally or not — it can damage your ability to lead.
Do others avoid making eye contact with you? Do they use protective body language, such as turning slightly away or crossing their arms? Do they constantly apologize around you, to the point that it seems more an act of submission than true remorse? Do they automatically green light your ideas, without asking the necessary questions that even brilliant ideas have to stand up to?
If these scenarios sound familiar, you may be an intimidator, Wanda Thibodeaux wrote on Inc.com in October. The good news, though, is that there are ways you can avoid coming on too strong, so you don’t scare others away from you. Here are a few of Thibodeaux’s suggestions:
• Congratulate others for their accomplishments.
• Genuinely wish others luck.
• Express gratitude.
• Maintain eye contact and smile freely.
• Admit to the times when you’ve screwed up, so others see that you’re human.
• Be an active listener.
• Reveal all sides of yourself, not just the go-getter persona you wear at work.
“As the list above suggests, ensuring you don’t intimidate others is simply about being real with others, setting aside the quest to win or be perfect, and being as compassionate to those around you as you would be to yourself,” Thibodeaux wrote.