When boss has a bad temper

OddNaari OddNaari Nov 02, 2010

My boss has a bad temper and yells at me a lot. How do I tell her that it upsets me without getting HR involved?
Looks like you've got a 'bully boss', says Robert Mueller, author of Bullying Bosses: A Survivor's Guide. Bosses behave badly for several reasons: you may be part of a highly-stressful industry, yelling may be the norm in your organisation, or your boss may simply be rude and arrogant. Whatever the reason, there are ways to deal with this behaviour without stabbing her.

First, try to assess your boss' needs by turning the leadership tables on her, says Stephen R Covey, author of the best-seller, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People. "Take the initiative and think through what her problems are. What are her concerns? What is she trying to accomplish? Then, when emotions are not high, present her with a detailed plan of action where you could pick up certain assignments or functions that will make her life easier."

Frame it in a way that you'll both be looking at how it succeeds. If it does, she will develop confidence in you and your abilities, Covey says. "As her confidence in you comes up, the bullying will become less," he says. Another option is speaking with your boss in private. Say something like, "I've noticed you've been very angry at me lately, and that upsets me. Is there anything I can do better to avoid that?" A heart-to-heart like this should calm even the toughest of bosses, but if it doesn't, consider taking the issue up with your boss's boss (but remember that you'll have to live with your boss the next day), or consider quitting.

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