Social stereotypes are everywhere and the workplace is no different! It’s amazing how, even in 2018, women as men do not have a level playing field when it comes to their expected behaviours. If a man is assertive in the workplace, he’s a great boss, or an asset to the team, but a woman doing exactly the same is labelled bossy, confrontational or a b*tch.

If you feel like your work colleagues just aren’t responding to you the way they do other (female) work colleagues and you’ve checked the freshness stakes; know you haven’t offended anyone; and make more than your fair share of effort to be nice, then could it be because you’re intimidating?

Here are a few signs that your work colleagues find you intimidating:

1. They step back when you speak As long as you don’t spit when you talk, don’t smell and don’t get into people’s personal space when you’re speaking to them, why would they step back? Do they fee uncomfortable around you? Are you intimidating?

2. They turn away from you slightly

This is just like stepping back, but perhaps your colleague doesn’t want to be to build about it, or they’re too scared to take a hike step back.

3. They never make eye contact with you

This is an odd one because at some point we all look the person we’re talking to in the eye. If this doesn’t happen for you, it’s a possi le sign that you may have an intimidating presence.

4. They speak quietly when they’re with you

If you find that your colleague lowers their voice and is always quiet when speaking to you, they’re probably worried you’ll embarrass them or they just feel uncomfortable around you.

What now?

Unless you’re intentionally trying to emulate Miranda Priestly’s personality in The Devil Wears Prada and terrify your colleagues it can be difficult to turn this type of scenario around. You’ll just have to continue to be the best you that you can be and make all efforts to show your nicest side.

If you really do intend to intimidate your colleagues, take this as a warning: employment law is there for a reason – change now before you get hauled in front of a tribunal.

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