WORKPLACE / DEC. 20, 2014
version 4, draft 4

How to Deal with a Boss Who Yells

You work in a professional environment with educated professionals. For that matter, you might think high school behavior is behind you. But if your boss is a hot head and gets upset at the drop of a dime, you may deal with some child-like behavior in the workplace — not from your coworkers, but rather your superior.

If your boss yells on a regular basis, you may not know how to handle him or her. But the way you respond can either worsen or improve the situation. Here are six tips for dealing with a boss who yells.

1. Don’t Enter the Battle Zone

If your boss has a temper tantrum and takes his frustrations out on you, your first instinct might be to jump into the battle and fight back. But this response can escalate the situation. If your boss enjoys a little back-and-forth conflict, your response can fuel the fire, at which time a one-minute outburst could turn into a 10 or 15-minute battle with both of you going tit for tat. It’s probably better to let him vent and maintain your poker face. We can’t argue with ourselves, and if you’re sitting calmly and not adding to the yelling match, your boss will eventually lose steam.

2. Don’t Take It Personal

Everyone makes mistakes, even the best employees — and most blunders have solutions. So, if your boss loses his temper, there might be other underlying issues fueling the fire. Maybe he’s going through a divorce, or dealing with pressure from higher ups in the company. Don’t take the attack personal. Get back to work and continue to do your best.

3. Control Your Emotions

Unfortunately, some bosses are nothing more than overgrown bullies, and they might use yelling and intimidation to break you. With these type of people, showing any signs of weakness gives them an ego boost and encourages the behavior. For that matter, maintain control over your emotions. Don’t let it show that he got under your skin. If you need to take a few deep breaths to calm down or shed a tear, do so in private.

4. Think of Solutions Before Approaching Your Boss

If your boss starts yelling whenever problems develop, you may hesitate approaching him with an issue. Before approaching your boss with any problem, think of possible solutions, and share these ideas with him. If there’s a solution, he’s less likely to go off.

5. Let Her Know You Got the Point

Yelling — or raising her voice — might be the way your boss communicates when she feels misunderstood. However, if you repeat back your employer’s concerns in a calm voice, this may calm the reaction. Once she knows you got the point and understands why she’s upset, there’s no reason to continue the outburst.

6. Speak to Your Boss When He’s Calm

You don’t have to take this abuse, but trying to have a rational conversation with your boss when he’s upset may not work in your favor. Let some time pass, and then speak with your boss in private when he’s calm. Explain that you don’t like his behavior and the tone he took with you. In a calm state of mind, your boss may recognize his mistake and apologize. But if the behavior continues, take the problem to his superior, if possible.

An emotional boss can make the workday seem longer and harder. Rather than become defensive or respond in kind, take steps to help calm the behavior and get the respect you deserve.

Photo Credit: Gazeta

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