Judgmental, non-verbal body language.
No one, especially your successful colleagues, can tolerate perceived condescension. Research studies show that somewhere between 75 to 90 percent of our impact comes from our non-verbal communication, and tone is a key ingredient of this. Do you make comments to others in a way that sounds evaluative, harsh, or condescending? Often, this is not our intention but an in-the- moment reaction. Other non-verbal offenders include scowling, furrowed brows, quizzical looks (as if to say, ‘are you stupid?’), rigidity, and sarcasm. While seemingly small, each of these subtle darts creates a considerable amount of relationship damage.Interrupting and interrogating.
There’s been a lot of buzz recently around how to have “conversations that drive innovation” and how to “create safe environments for employees to bring their ideas forward.” It’s almost impossible for people to feel safe if the boss takes up most of the airtime, cuts people off, or interrogates half-baked ideas. Yes, employees have a responsibility to communicate with clarity, but if you expect every idea to be buttoned up, fully thought out, or structured before someone speaks, your colleagues will assume that you’re not willing to invest the time to be a thought partner.Being inconsistent.
Peers and staff often comment on how discouraging it is to see a colleague act in two very different ways — absolutely charming with the executive team and external clients while being disrespectful to those they work with every day. This inconsistency makes these behaviors even more memorable and egregious. Others have shared a different impact — the feeling of walking on eggshells at work, wondering who is going to show up: “smiling, charming, funny person” or “judgmental, intense, snapping person.” Over time, this drives passive aggressive responses from others in their attempt to avoid confrontation.