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Send your career questions to Dr. McIntyre
Send your questions and concerns to Dr. Marie McIntyre. Marie has more than 20 years experience in coaching, human resources, and management. She writes the syndicated column “Your Office Coach”, which appears in more than 70 newspapers nationwide. Marie has authored two books and serves as a workplace expert for the National Institute of Business Management. (Due to high volume, not all questions can be answered, but Marie will respond to as many as possible. Your question may be reprinted online or in the newspaper column unless you request otherwise.)
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?
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.
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Marie McIntyre has more than twenty years’ experience in career coaching and organizational development. She has held management positions in both business and government, including Director of Human Resources in a Fortune 500 company.
Marie writes the weekly syndicated advice column, “Your Office Coach”, which appears in newspapers throughout the U.S. & Canada. She also writes a monthly Career Commentary for CNBC.com and serves as a workplace expert for Business Management Daily. Marie conducts webinars on a variety of topics related to leadership development and career success.
As a consultant, Marie has assisted a wide variety of organizations, including Cisco, The Home Depot, Tyson Foods, the Federal Reserve, AT&T, Walgreens, Macy’s, and Habitat for Humanity. She has experience in working with business, government, and non-profit groups.
Marie is the author of two books, “Secrets to Winning at Office Politics” &“The Management Team Handbook”. She is frequently quoted in business publications, including Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.