If you want to empower, engage, or motivate others, don’t just focus on increasing your positive behaviors. Pay attention to the things you need to stop doing at the same time. Here are three to avoid:
- Judgmental body language. No one likes perceived condescension. Watch out for scowling, furrowed brows, and quizzical or sarcastic looks (as if to say, “Are you stupid?”). While seemingly harmless, each of these subtle darts creates a considerable amount of relationship damage.
- Interrupting. It’s almost impossible for people to feel safe if the boss takes up most of the airtime or cuts people off. Do more listening than talking, and let people finish their thoughts.
- Being inconsistent. It’s hard on employees to wonder who is going to show up: “smiling, charming, funny boss” or “judgmental, intense, snapping manager.” Try to keep your tone and personality consistent so people know what to expect.