Leadership

Daily Buzz: Don’t Be the Scary Boss

By / Jan 16, 2020 (ajr_images/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

You may be intimidating your employees without knowing it. Also: Taking your digital content to the next level.

Do you get the sense that you’re intimidating your employees? It might not be easy to get a straight answer, but there are warning signs to look out for, writes John Boitnott in Entrepreneur.

“Everyone agrees with you, even when you’re asking for honest feedback; staff tends to quiet down when you walk into a room; or you see a quick look of nervousness on a junior employee’s face when you ask them to complete a task,” Boitnott says.

If these situations sound familiar, it’s time to assess your leadership style and make changes. To avoid a tense office environment, upper management first needs to understand the intimidation factor that comes with a difference in pay, power, and influence.

“If you’re frustrated by the lack of open and honest communication at work, look inward before turning outward,” Boitnott says. “Recognize the power you have, and how that can be intimidating.”

For truly honest answers, send out a confidential survey asking all employees about office power dynamics, the quality of the organization’s overall communication, and if they’re intimidated by higher-ups.

When employees are intimidated, change your communication style. “Facial expressions, tone of voice, and verbal and written communication styles all matter,” Boitnott says.

Focus your attention solely on employees when talking, and make an effort to show interest and enthusiasm when employees are talking to you—especially in a public setting. And don’t belittle an employee’s idea and respond with anger or disinterest.

“Your friends outside of work may appreciate your sarcastic sense of humor, but it’s not the time to hand out a teasing barb,” Boitnott says.

Embrace Many Forms of Digital Communication

Getting attention in the digital space isn’t just about a few email marketing campaigns or the occasional newsletter. Organizations need to invest in many different forms of digital communication, says JP Moery of The Moery Company.

“Give yourself some bandwidth to innovate, to experiment, to try some new things, to do some live videos, to start a podcast. Launch it this year. Launch it now!” Moery says.

Digital-first audiences are reading blogs, watching Youtube videos, and listening to podcasts. To reach them, organizations need to be operating in these areas.

“We have been able to build our brand in a very positive way by giving away content for free as much as possible on as many platforms as we can get our hands on,” Moery says.

Other Links of Note

To make a good impression with new hires, there are three things to communicate on their first day, writes Delia O’Steen on the SHRM Blog.

What will affect events in 2020? Claire Hoffman of BizBash asks 11 industry professionals.

Is Twitter right for your organization? Tatiana Morand of the Wild Apricot blog explains how to understand what’s best for your social media strategy.

Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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