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Old 01-09-2012, 05:22 AM
 
511 posts, read 2,307,348 times
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Do you ever come in contact with people that whose confidence and force of personality intimidate you?

I am forced to interact with quite a few people in the company I work in that are "senior management" and have very strong intimidating personalities. Some times I feel they are talking down to me and I feel like a 10 year old being spoken to by a stern school Principal. I lose my train of thought, my voice gets high and I start sweating. I feel like such a fool. Many of these people are younger than me.

Something about their confidence and bearing makes me want to please them and gain their respect but they don't give positive reinforcement, instead their body language and non verbal cues say, "I don't think much of you and I have power over you"

I mention this to some of my coworkers and they agree that some of these people are intimidating. Especially in this economy when not being impressive and poised to the right people can send you to the unemployment line.

How do you handle intimidating people?
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:24 AM
 
Location: Wherever women are
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Oh really
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:07 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,883 posts, read 71,312,494 times
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Always approach these folks with an open mind, and the intent to learn from them. Anyone who intimidates you can do it only because you allow yourself to feel that way. Figure out why you feel inadequate around them and use it as a growth experience.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:31 AM
 
27 posts, read 60,470 times
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I worked for a nightmare boss who was controlling lacking in self confidence and had no confidence in us his employees. He would talk down to us constantly trash us behind our backs to everyone and had horrible breath, body odor, talked with his mouth full, did not wash his hands after using the bathroom, I had a hell of a time dealing with this guy. Quitting that job was one of the happiest days of my life.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:49 AM
 
511 posts, read 2,307,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Always approach these folks with an open mind, and the intent to learn from them. Anyone who intimidates you can do it only because you allow yourself to feel that way. Figure out why you feel inadequate around them and use it as a growth experience.
Good advice but only in theory. I think human nature creates a need in all of us to get the respect and admiration of people who seem to have it all. Some people just have a personality that shows extreme confidence and power and people want their admiration and respect. Though many of these people realize the power in their personality and their ability to intimidate others and like to play games and show their disapproval of you through negative interpersonal communication, especially non verbal cues.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Noblesville, IN
3,813 posts, read 4,513,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Workaholic? View Post
Good advice but only in theory. I think human nature creates a need in all of us to get the respect and admiration of people who seem to have it all. Some people just have a personality that shows extreme confidence and power and people want their admiration and respect. Though many of these people realize the power in their personality and their ability to intimidate others and like to play games and show their disapproval of you through negative interpersonal communication, especially non verbal cues.

The part bolded is why I don't get intimidated by these kinds of people. The people who are confident and sort of "demand" respect by their very nature but are positive are the kinds of people I enjoy. If they're in a position of power over me (boss), then I would want to please them buy only because we would all seem to benefit. When strong people use that power and that strong personality for intimidation and games, I tend to get overly irritated and walk away. I can usually see that the game playing comes from some sort of insecurity and I don't want to waste my time figuring out what it is. I'm not very good at kissing butt, that's for sure.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:39 AM
 
Location: GA
461 posts, read 1,262,591 times
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Are you fluent in body language enough to know these cues? I thought about reading up on body language then realized, I'd probably remain more sane just sticking to actual words. I'm reading a book on power right now and many people can obtain it without being a-holes but I guess it may depend on the biz. If it doesn't involve any sort of reciprocity, it sounds like a crap-down organization by nature so you can just do your best always and not worry about it as long as your goals are being accomplished and not thwarted.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Hell, NY
3,163 posts, read 4,683,782 times
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There's an old saying, fake it til you make it. If you lack confidence to "stand tall" with these people, pretend that you have confidence and that you can't be shaken..Don't let people intimidate you. Stay true to what you believe and stick to that. Don't let others walk all over you or else they will never stop.. Be more assertive and stop worrying that you might get fired. Most likely they talk that way to you, because you allow it..And stop worrying about trying to please them. Just do the best job you can, and if that isn't good enough-tough sh t....

And remember no matter how hard the economy is, there is always another job out there...

Good luck...


Smp
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:54 AM
 
Location: OKC
551 posts, read 1,825,016 times
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Type A personalities. Aren't they the minority but yet seem to get the majority? Stay focused and do your job. I don't know if you are in a position where you can be an asset to them. If so, use that. If you're just another busy-bee who can easily be replaced (and you don't want to be), then just keep your nose down and do your job. Don't act intimidated in front of them. Like someone said, stand tall--even if you are shaking in your boots.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,313 posts, read 5,897,464 times
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I am the type of power person you are talking about. I am 23 and make in the upper 20% of people my age. When I interviewed for my job it was me and 5 people in a board room. They thought I was at least 28 when I interviewed, it wasn't until I got the job they realized I was 23.

Anyway, I think the key to prevent nervousness or sweating is preparation and confidence. The way I look at it, if I am nervous, then there is a reason behind it. The reason CAN be changed. Some reasons one might be nervous:

1. Dont know what they are talking about/ Dont know the material
2. Lieing
3. No fore-thought on what to say
4. Made an error or missed something

Its hard for me to offer advice to your situation without a more detailed explanation, but I would suggest the next project you get, do a thorough job on it. Make sure you think about ALL potential questions and the answers you have for them.

If you do everything right, answer all the questions you are asked, speak clearly and tell the truth then you should have nothing to worry about. If after all that you still dont get a good job or they dont seem to be happy with your performance, then quit. Bosses that dont respect your work can go to h3ll . But first you need to cover your bases.
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