How to not be intimidating
Focusing too much on what you want from the intimidating person can make you miss important cues that could help you communicate more effectively. The reason for their bad mood, dominance or aggression might not have anything to do with you!
For example, do they seem stressed themselves at the moment? Respond to those cues and ask yourself how you can serve them with compassion and genuineness.
“If you want to be less intimidating, take practical steps that rework your image in another way using things like body language, emails, less curtness in interactions etc.” One strategy you can try is to take a little more time with each workplace interaction than you normally would.
“You don’t need to be a sap,” says Popp, “but you can take a moment to listen and think about how your behaviour affects others and how you are being perceived.” She warns “not to swing too far the other way,” though, because it could seem disingenuous if you’re suddenly interested in every little detail of people’s lives if you weren’t before.
It's not, however, something you have to suffer by default.
You can put an end to it starting today, and you don't need to sacrifice your pride or decorum to do it.
“This is about having more informal bonds and allowing them to see a different side of you.” The more personable you are with others, the harder it is for them to be nervous around you. Colene recommends being clear that you don’t intend to be intimidating, signaling that you’re open to working on the problem, and actively requesting more information.
“What is critical,” says Traeger, “is that others have the opportunity to struggle, learn and grow.”.You don't have to come up with a script you'll repeat word for word, especially because you have to respond naturally to whatever the other person says back.