Personal Mannerisms and Business

In the workplace, whether large or small, the personalities of people in the environment are rapidly recognized by all. Whether it’s peers, supervisors, or subordinates, people understand how those around them will act in many scenarios, especially those common to the workplace. Failure to recognize this fact can have serious ramifications.

Of course, most people are aware that abusive behavior is not acceptable in the workplace, not inclusive of the eventual lawsuit when the abuser explodes at one too many people. However, this is merely the tip of the iceberg, as other forms of manipulation and control can be exploited based on an understanding of the human nature of the people in your work environment.

What must be remembered is that “business is business” and is therefore cold and calculated. That doesn’t mean the people involved in business are always cold and calculating, but the bottom line for business is results, and what will achieve the desired results. As such, attitudes, and mannerisms should reflect this fact, according to each person’s natural tendencies.

Awareness of the attitudes and mannerisms of those around us leads to manipulation, whether deliberately or subconsciously. Children intuitively know how to do this, knowing which parent for permission to visit a friend, to stay up late, or get some candy. Adults are no different, knowing which co-worker will be willing to cover a shift, which supervisor to approach for approval on a project, and who is likely to take credit for work done by others.

The knowledge of all this human nature results in an environment in which manipulation is occurring, whether people like it or not, whether acknowledged or not. If people ignore this fact, they will eventually discover that they are the ones being manipulated. Being aware of this fact will change who is manipulated. The one aware of the manipulation can project the appropriate mien to achieve their own goals, to give the appearance of being manipulated when it suits their objectives, and at all times, to consider their implications.

The second result of being aware of the implications of your mien on the people around you is that you can retain control of what happens in any situation. Whether you choose to project a loud, irate look, or a dominated, submissive impression, it is done with absolute calculation, in that a desired result can be arranged via that particular mien. Neither projection is right, neither is wrong. Both are merely tools in the arsenal of the person on the road to success.