Whether your boss's concerns are legitimate or frivolous, you can diffuse the situation by calmly asking for a private meeting at which to discuss the meeting at hand. Make it formal: book a conference room and schedule a time that day so you two can sit down and hash out the problem, as it's most likely a solvable work challenge. Again, remain calm, but speak up. If your boss has the wrong idea about something you've done, say so.
Don't be vindictive or petty in your speech. Keep it matter-of-fact, and explain yourself. If your boss is demanding answers, give them. Be clear and succinct, and keep to the point without waffling on. If you can be direct in your communication chances are your shouting boss will calm down and meet you at your timbre. Don't make excuses. If you're getting yelled at because you messed up, own it. Denying your responsibility will only make your boss madder. Don't be combative when you're in the wrong, it won't serve you in the long run. Let your boss know that you understand your mistake, are very sorry, and will work as hard as you can to fix the problem as fast as possible.
Chances are the more repentant you are about your mistake and the more willing to fix it, your yelling boss will soften and even feel bad about coming down on you so hard. We're all human, even bosses.
5 Types of Bad Boss and How to Handle Them
Whatever's going on, whether it's because of your folly or something out of your control, offer a solution. Yelling comes from frustration, so chances are your boss feels cornered, and is ironically probably terrified of being yelled at by their own boss.
If you can be creative and show initiative in moving forward, you might be offering your boss a solution they couldn't see on their own. Never, under any circumstances, yell back at your boss. I once had a boss yell at me over something that wasn't my fault, and I sat calmly and took it.
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Sometimes, with your boss, you just can't take it personally, and you can't let it get under your skin. I waited until he was finished, and then explained myself, and offered him a solution see above. I could have become emotional and yelled back, sure I actually went and cried in the bathroom from the adrenaline afterwards , but it would have gotten me nowhere. It would not only have made him madder, but it would have put me at fault in a situation where I wasn't. Don't give your angry boss a reason to be angrier. It was one of the methods Steve had developed to manage the unmanageable Commodore.
The next nine participants did their best to be as concise. Marissa was near the end, and I roused myself for whatever bullets she might shoot my way. You know Thaddeus wants them! These are the statistics on shipping costs for the whole global enterprise worldwide!
Belleek Pottery boss John Maguire to step down
She was clearly under stress. Now Marissa was smoothing my latest report over and over on the conference room table like a psychopath. He was skipping Marissa and, by default, me. Those binders were a job that Helen had done most of the work on. An award for an intern for three-hole punching was creepy—just like the uncomfortable-to-watch bear hug he gave her before he handed her the plaque. Then we were free to go.
Stoop-shouldered, I went to wait. He has to head out to Zurich tonight, but he wanted you to have this. The string had been wound tightly around the button and taped over for security. We need you in top form. He had complained that the last version was too pink—not masculine enough. Sometimes it helped to remind him of his prior decisions. I tightened my jaw. That would mean 6-point type. Not even a hawk could read 6-point type. But my coping mechanism was capitulation. I nodded. The six casters on his chair desperately struggled to maintain contact with the floor.
Where do you want to be in five years? As I contemplated how to respond to this giant pothole of a query that had come out of nowhere—or, more likely, from an annual HR reminder—he turned his attention to his e-mail and began typing. I read it quickly. And you should take it. She typed a few more words. Do you remember when Thaddeus first got here?
Then his boss got moved to Rangoon, and Lisa took the top job.
Do it well and go home. I do, and so should you. Suddenly we heard the sound of footsteps in the hall, and Marissa strode in.
I quickly excused myself, explaining that I had to work on a revised dashboard. That night, as I put the baby to sleep, I thought: Should I stay with a known bully? And what about that offer? I just wanted you to know I was looking through your latest dashboard again. Really good. Gini Graham Scott changemakers pacbell. David should stay where he is, at least for now.
Furthermore, the Commodore may see a lateral move within the organization as a personal slight; David could find that the bad blood of their relationship trails him to his new position. First, he should, in a subtle and nonconfrontational way, try to get the Commodore to change some of his crazy-making behavior.
The Boss Baby: Back in Business
In a memo or a face-to-face meeting, David could describe what he thinks his boss wants from him. If the Commodore confirmed these expectations, David could state his desire to better meet them and offer some ideas on how that might be achieved. Changes in his working relationship with the Commodore could be implicit in these suggestions.
David should also build on the relationship he seems to have with Steve. An informal support network of colleagues who are all suffering under a bad boss is one of the best ways to help everyone survive. It should start small—Steve and David could each invite one coworker they trusted to join them for a drink after work—and grow slowly. Marissa might not be an immediate candidate for membership. And this network should be more than a gripe group.
In addition to giving people a chance to blow off steam, the group ideally would generate collective coping strategies for dealing with the difficult supervisor. It generates a more positive attitude, which causes others to respond to you more positively. For David, it could actually lead to a more enjoyable relationship with the Commodore—and would certainly yield a better recommendation from his boss when he finally does decide to move on.
Make a special effort to find pleasures outside of work that you can look forward to during the day.
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