Loud and Insulting Supervisor

Question to Ask the  Workplace Doctors about an efficient, but loud bossy boss:

We have a supervisor/trainer in the office who talks loudly and is bossy. She insults the other staff by her snappy comments. She is very short with other staff. She is very efficient at what she does but as staff trainer and supervisor she needs to tone down. Please give me suggestions as to how to how to deal with her.

Signed, Looking For Answers

Dear Looking For Answers:

The answer to what you can do will depend upon your role in relation to hers. If you are her manager it is fairly easy, if you’re willing to do it, to change the situation. The way to do it is to correct her words and behavior every single time you hear her say something that creates ill feelings. Use your organizational policies to warn her and take further sanctions as needed.No matter how efficient she might be, she’s not effective if people are frightened, unnerved or distracted by her. I always use this guideline: Would she have been hired had people known exactly what she was like? Probably not. So, why should she be retained? Unfortunately, many managers allow a supervisor to continue treating people badly rather than deal with the discomfort of correcting him or her. I hope, if you are in a managerial position you’ll do the right thing.When you correct her for the negative actions, tell her what she could or should have done or said instead. “Instead of barking orders to Jenny, you could have asked her in a normal tone and said ‘please’. Do it that way from now on.”

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