My Manager Is Abrupt With Me

Question: to Ask the Workplace Doctors about intimidating boss.

A letter of complaint went in to the company I work for, and since then, my manager has been very abrupt with me. I feel as if she is trying to intimidate me. What can I do? Please this is getting me down.

Signed, Feeling Down

DearĀ Feeling Down:

Some people make their displeasure known by yelling, others by steely silence, and others by cool abrupt speech and gestures. You are working scared, walking on eggshells, wondering if you might be judged wrong. You probably have told your family and coworkers that your boss has it in for you. This is no way to come to work. Can you ever again come to work with your head up or must you worry that your boss is miffed at you?

Is it not past time to ask for a few words with your manager? Apologize if you made a mistake and state that you will do all within your ability not to make the mistake again. Don’t be shy.

Say since that complaint, you feel that she has treated you abruptly. Using your own words you might say something like this, “Ms. Jackson, I’m sorry that something I did or didn’t do resulted in a complaint. I don’t want this kind thing to happen again and with your advice, hopefully I will not again cause a complaint. Please know that. I want to do the kind of work that makes you proud. Since that letter of complaint, I feel you have treated me abruptly. If you are displeased and have criticism of my work, I want you to tell me what you want done differently. I will work better if you talk to me a few minutes from time to time.”

Superiors don’t always realize how they come across. They do what seems to work and will continue to do that if and until they learn differently. Incivility may have been the way some were treated by their parents, teachers and the own bosses. You see bullying, shouting, and rolling of eyes of some highly paid coaches. Why? Because it has worked for them. That, however, is not the only or best way to coach or manage. Civil, respectful, supportive coaching also works. You now have an opportunity. You can in a small way shape the way you want to be treated by you sharing your hurt and/or feeling of being treated abruptly. You can help talk between your boss and you to be straight and respectful.

There are many reasons for mistakes at work. At one time or another we all will make them because of lack of know-how, the failure of communication, and sometimes carelessness. Wise managers realize that. Rather than placing blame, they enjoin their associates to find ways to correct and prevent making those mistakes again. Do study some of the Q&As that come to us. Click on Workplace Doctors Tina Lewis Rowe’s site and soak in her wise words, such as her When Someone At Work Is Upset With You . And should you some day become a manager, think of an associate’s mistakes and also partly your fault. Take part of the blame and much of the responsibility of correcting defects. If you and your boss can see complaints in this light, you will understand how my signature sentence applies in your work group: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden