Where do you look for parking when you are out and about? I have the utmost confidence when approaching a destination that I will find parking in front of the door, and I usually do. It saves me having to think about where to find parking before I arrive and I usually amaze my family when I drive past the parking they spotted way back, only to pull into a spot outside the door of the store or restaurant we were going to.
Parking is a wonderful topic to discuss with you as leaders because everyone sees where you park and how you walk into work. Many perceptions and judgments about you exist partly or fully based on your parking habits.
Things to consider about your parking habits:
- Do you make sure that you always park in your executive spot? – If so, what message do your team members receive about your ego?
- Do you park around the back of the building far from sight? – This may result in suspicion and reduced trust
- Do you hit the ground running and walk quickly to your office? – If so, are you seen as too busy to have time for your people?
- Do you meander through the parking lot, picking up trash you see, and generally making sure things are in good shape? – You may be seen as overly judgmental, picky and hard to please.
- Do you look stern, stressed or relaxed when you emerge from your car? – Your facial expression and demeanor may set the tone for the day.
Pay attention to your parking habits and practice getting out your car and entering the building with the demeanor of the intentions you have for the day’s interactions.