Work really is just an extension of high school: No matter how self-conscious you think you are, you are probably wrong about what kind of impression you make on your co-workers. According to a new study out of Columbia Business School, people are really bad at figuring out how they come off in the workplace, and tend to think they’re being more aggressive or more meek than their co-workers think they are.
The study found that most people have about a 50/50 shot of correctly interpreting how their co-workers see them. 57% of people who are seen as under-assertive think of themselves as appropriately assertive or even pushy. Meanwhile, 56% of people seen as too assertive think they’re normal or even too meek.
The researchers also found something called the “line crossing illusion,” which is when people think they’re crossing a line even when their co-workers think they’re behaving appropriately. Otherwise known as “crippling self-doubt.”
The researchers said they didn’t find significant differences between men and women when it comes to perceived assertiveness, which is interesting considering the well-documented evidence that women face different perceptions in the work place when it comes to assertiveness.