After two months as a manager, Barbara met with her friend Sally to get some feedback on her performance as a boss. Even though the two women started as aides in the same department, Sally now reported to Barbara.
“Barbara, you talk differently now than you did before you were a manager,” Sally said. “You sound a bit stiff, and your natural warmth doesn’t come across like it used to. It’s like you take everything you say so seriously.”
That in a nutshell is the biggest trap new managers face: they try to speak the way they think a boss “should speak.” That may mean adopting a deeper voice, giving unsolicited opinions, or issuing commands to display their authority.
Yet the best way to radiate power is to express ...