Make Sure You’re Not a Doormat

I want to ask you three questions. First, do your employees treat you with respect? Are you stretched thin because you assumed other people’s duties? Finally, have you or anyone else pointed out that your directives are unfocused and opaque?

If you said “yes” to any of these questions, you’re the office doormat. Even worse, you’re a manager that is a doormat. Employee engagement and performance management mean nothing for you because of the lack of respect from your peers and supervisors. Good news: if you’re reading this, you can turn things around for the better.

The turnaround process starts inside of you—you’re a manager for a reason—but whatever potential your boss saw in you isn’t showing at this time. Let’s look at four strategies to help you prevent from becoming the office doormat.

Why Are You a Doormat?

If you are a doormat, you need to accept it in order to fix it.

Ask yourself why you’re a doormat. In seeking the answer, hopefully you will remember why you are in a leadership role—hint: it is not because of your good looks. Pick out what’s blocking you from getting things done. These obstacles can include a want to constantly please everyone or allow your employees to take advantage of you.

Say “No” More, “Yes” Less

It’s powerful to refuse a request because you take ownership over your destiny. Saying “no” may even be a step out of your comfort zone. On the flipside, saying “yes” too much exposes you to being manipulated by employees and enables them to be lazy. Take control or possibly get replaced.

Command Respect

Being a manager does not equal having your team’s respect. It is a hard truth in business. You might even be faced with fake displays of “respect.” Worse yet, our actions of being respectful could be mistaken as being lax and passive. Carry yourself in high regard to eliminate that confusion. When you do this, your team and executives will look at you with more respect.

Act with Intent

Doormat people will put up with anything because they lack direction. You have to act with intention and follow through on what you say and do to completion. Without a firm grasp on managing yourself, you can’t manage other people. Be direct in your actions, in communication of your goals, and with delegation. Acting with intent shows your team understanding of the organization’s mission and your team’s purpose to accomplishing the mission.

Hopefully you’re not the doormat that people walk on because those people are ultimately forgotten. Get your rear in gear sooner than later to establish yourself as a strong leader and an even stronger person. Doormats don’t command respect, change or take action—because it’s a doormat. You’re a leader. Big difference.


Denis Coleman

Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.

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