Don’t wait for the C-suite to bring sunshine to every exchange

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in Your Office Coach

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 management.

“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.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mary Lou June 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Upper management is not necessarily being impolite or demotivating. It is a protection for you and them, not to engage in any confidential talk. After all they do have more important things on their minds.
It is nice to know they are friendly but if they avoid it respect their way of doing things. This is not school. This is business. Like suggested appear friendly, say hello and smile or just smile and move on. Do not be unduly concerned. They may have noticed and will remember how you behaved.

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