Q: “I’m trying hard to make a good impression in my new job. My supervisor says positive things about my work, and I get along well with my team members. However, I’m concerned about the signals I’m getting from upper.
“When I pass certain senior managers in the hall, they walk right by me and avoid eye contact. Sometimes they exhibit aggressive body language, such as failing to adjust their walk path when approaching me. We’ve been introduced, so their lack of common courtesy seems strange.
“I’m not sure how to interpret their actions or how to react without seeming either too aloof or too forward. What do you think?” New & Ignored
A: Odds are that your senior managers are just being senior managers. Although their behavior is both impolite and demotivating, it’s probably not personal. Unfortunately, I hear many complaints about executives who walk by people without speaking. They apparently don’t realize that this makes them seem like arrogant jerks.
When you encounter these higher-ups in the hall, just smile and say hello. If they fail to respond, don’t worry. They may be preoccupied with important problems or simply lost in thought. Either way, their rudeness says more about them than it does about you.
Do you interact with executives at work? Here are some tips for making a good impression: How to Impress High-level Managers.