My Boss Said I Told Negative Things About Him

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctor about gossip: my manager said that over the last 3 or 4 months, four people told him negative things that I said about him.

In a meeting, my manager said that over the last 3 or 4 months, four people told him negative things that I said about him. The only problem is I didn’t say anything negative, and when I asked 3 of the 4 people (one had quit) all had denied they said anything to him. Two of the people commented they had issues with his conduct. I did tell my boss that I checked his statement out and the 3 people denied what he said. He acted like he was still in the right. Should I go after him and complain to the general manager for at least an apology?

Signed, Go After Him???

DearĀ Go After Him???:

No. You shouldn’t go after him. You don’t want to widen what already is a gap between you and your manager. Should you ask him for an apology? Again, dong that is not likely to promote a good working relationship with him.

What then might be wise for you to do? Here are some things to consider:

1. Review your own performance. Have you been responsible; clocking in early and staying a few minutes after time? Or have you come in just in time and rushed to clock out? When you clock in do you say hello to your manager and check out with him when you leave? Has your attendance been perfect? How often have you volunteered to take on an extra assignment? Do you come to work with a smile or a frown?

2. Have you informally asked how well are you doing your job and how things are going with the work of your work area? Do you grade your communication with him poor, good, or excellent? Answers to these questions, I predict will add up to a low grade. Probably you would blame him for that low grade and you would give a good grade to yourself.

3. Also recall what you have thought and heard about your manager. Have you heard griping, swearing and complaining about assignments? Have you rolled your eyes upward, given thumbs down, kept your mouth shut or nodded in agreement? In short, your body talks and it could signal negative thoughts about your manager. Also you should know that coworkers would be reluctant to admit they had told your manager anything negative that you said about him.

4. “Saving face” is important to you and to your boss. You don’t want him to see you in a bad light nor does he want you to say bad things about him. Asking him for an apology would add to what he said he heard you said about him. That isn’t going to improve your working relationship. You don’t have to like him, but if you see him as an enemy, it will show.

5. Is your work just a job or is it work that uses your talents? Do you like it or hate it? Do you have adequate training or need more? Now use these thoughts to do your part to improve connection with him. Do good work. Ask his advice.

Find ways to make his job easier. Suggest ways to cut waste; wasted supplies, wasted time, and wasted money. Talk with coworkers and him about improving quality of what you do–product and service. Talk about positives and to clear up negatives. It might help to think of your coworkers as a team and your manager as a coach. Do any of these thoughts make sense? They are summed up by my closing sentence: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. That kind of working relationship is earned and that’s what you want. Right or Wrong?

William Gorden