Managers, You’re More Intimidating Than You Think


Managers need to accept that people see them as much scarier than they realize — and it’s hurting their businesses. Megan and John’s research found that while most managers don’t even begin to imagine that they’re intimidating to their teams, it’s actually a prime reason employees don’t speak up. 

Naturally, there are times when managers might want to be perceived as scary by others. They may be in a contested negotiation, for example, or have to face down unacceptable behaviour. But when employees fear to make their voices heard, engagement suffers. Along with that learning moments go unrecognized, misconduct becomes unquestioned, and innovation isn’t realized.

Megan and John explain why as a manager you’re probably pretty scary, even if you don’t think you are. They also suggest ways in which you can become more approachable. Hint: saying “My door is always open.” is not the answer.

Read the full article at the Harvard Business Review. And do get in touch if you’d like to know more about how we can help managers to be less scary and how you can foster a Speak Up and Listen Up culture in your team or organization.

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