Insider Exclusive: Walking on Eggshells in the Workplace

Insider Exclusive: Walking on Eggshells in the Workplace

How the boss’ mood sets the tone

By Pete Smith

Have you ever worked in an office where you had to gauge the mood of your boss to determine what type of day it was going to be? Tough environment, isn’t it?

One woman told me that she could tell what type of day it was going to be based on how her boss gripped her morning coffee mug. She said, “If I could see white fingertips, I knew it was going to be a long day.” With a boss like that, it’s no wonder the staff felt like they were walking on eggshells all day.

If you are a manager—responsible for leading a team or even just one employee—you must recognize that your mood impacts those around you. If your staff hesitates to approach you about an issue because of the mood you’re in, it’s your responsibility to change that dynamic.

Your employees observe you. They assess your mood and your demeanor. They begin their assessment of what kind of day it is going to be as soon as you enter the building. As a manager, you have the opportunity and the responsibility to create a positive, happy work environment.

Productive work environments include employee enthusiasm, management support, challenging tasks, and rewarding achievement. It does not include employees having to walk on eggshells while trying to determine the mood of their boss. Rather, they are too busy getting things done, and having a manager with a consistent mood allows them the opportunity to do just that.

Pete Smith is an international speaker and trainer in the fields of leadership, management, personal growth, and development. He will be a speaker at the 2018 ABA Annual Meeting & Marketplace. To learn more about Smith, visit

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The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.


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