Your evil twin

Staff may misinterpret a leader's good intentions

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Beware the evil twin that’s lurking in your workplace. Your staffers will see this evil sibling when they misinterpret your good intentions as something nefarious.

For example, say you believe that a good boss should roll up her sleeves and join the troops on the front line from time to time. You see it as “pitching in.” Your team sees it as “micromanaging.”

If seen in the wrong light, forthrightness can look like tactlessness, positive feedback like puffery.

Keep your evil twin from damaging your performance as a leader:

  • Talk about what your values are, so staffers will be less likely to misread your behaviors as evil.
  • Explain the “why” behind what you’re doing or what you’re asking for.
  • Invite feedback, so you can hear concerns early.

— Jill Geisler of Poynter.

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