Leadership

This simple workplace habit can hurt your image as a leader

When it feels like there aren't enough hours in a day to get your work done, it's natural to try rushing through everything. But the truth is, this habit is wreaking havoc on your image and your office, leadership development expert Jeff Black tells CNBC Make It.

When you are walking down a hallway too quickly, this not only distracts your coworkers, but it makes you look out of control, Black says. He adds: "People don't want to stop you when you look so hurried."

"You may be on your way to put out a corporate fire, but you can't look like you are on you way to do that all the time," Black says.

Even if you don't mean to rush or ignore your peers, they see someone who looks frantic, chaotic, unprepared and in crisis mode.

"We just live in a nonstop world today and people need to slow down," Black says. "We walk too fast, we talk too fast. We cut people off in meetings before they've really finished."

"We don't take a moment to create an opportunity to really connect with an employee who's perhaps in our office or in the hallway because we're so busy looking over our shoulder," Black says. "Today, employees want to follow leaders who look approachable."

One way Black says you can combat this bad workplace habit is by following one of his golden rules: "slow down by 10 percent." This means slowing down how you walk, speak and think.

Black says doing so will enhance your executive presence, which is your ability to clearly and confidently express your ideas and influence others.

By using this approach, Black says people will also view you as more calm, confident and approachable.

This is something you can apply in meetings: If you pause to think your response over instead of cutting off someone who is speaking, you are likely to give a more engaged and thoughtful reply.

If you don't let other employees fully explain their different views on a particular issue because you are in a hurry, Black syas you can risk losing million-dollar ideas and cost your company big wins in the long run.

Establishing yourself as a leader means learning when to be quiet and listen, he explains. This will help you come across as a better participant because, in a way you are saying, "this isn't all about me, this is really about you."

"You listen to what that question truly is," Black says, "and you will be able to defend your issue or make your case in a stronger way because you're not in a hurry in your head."

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