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Your boss raised his/her voice at you. Now what?: Part Two

Your boss raised his/her voice at you. Now what?: Part Two

Check out Part One of this two part series here!
Check out Part Two of this two part series here!

We are back with “Your boss raised his/her voice at you. Now what?”

In part one, we discussed the importance of pulling your boss aside to discuss the situation surrounding him/her yelling at you. Then, I explained the importance of explaining your mistakes to your boss and apologizing for doing what was wrong.

In part two, I explain how you should handle the rest of the one-on-one meeting with your boss in a way that is solution-minded and in a way that communicates you have boundaries that you do not wish for him/her to cross again.

3) Create and present possible solutions.

Don’t just tell your boss that you were wrong. Come up with a list of possible solutions to the problem(s) and state your intent to follow his/her lead. People often yell when they do not feel powerful, ironically. It makes them feel like they are usurping power they wish they had. So, show your boss you are willingly giving him/her power, and you very well could cool off the entire situation:

  • “These are some ways I think we can solve this issue and make sure it never happens again. However, I am thoroughly open to and want your insight so that I can improve in my position, understand your perspective, and better serve you under your leadership style.”

This will make your boss calm down, realizing that you aren’t as big of a bad guy as he/she originally thought. Showing humility (without self-deprecation) and offering a kind word goes a long way to bring logic back into the picture. You can do all this without groveling; I promise.

4) Express your boundaries.

Although it is important for your boss to correct you when you are wrong, it is absolutely uncalled for, for your boss to raise his/her voice at you, let alone yell. In your one-on-one meeting, make sure to end with this:

  • “I understand you were frustrated with me. Anyone would have been. I have to share, though, that my boundaries were crossed in that meeting/discussion/whatever the situation was. So, I respectfully ask that you do not raise your voice at me again.”

This can be scary to say, but as long as you do not raise your voice or show angry body language, you can say this short statement, and let your boss sit in it. Let the silence that follows show you are serious and that you will not allow someone to deal with you in that manner. Ultimately, your boss may even feel embarrassed for being “called out,” on their poor attitude in such a professional way. It is important to have boundaries with people, and that includes your boss.

5) Repeat.

Whenever you feel there is a white elephant in the room with your boss or your boss is yelling at you, repeat this process. It is as simple as that!

Your boss raised his/her voice at you. Now what?: Part One

Your boss raised his/her voice at you. Now what?: Part One

Check out Part One of this two part series here!
Check out Part Two of this two part series here!

Getting yelled at in any circumstance is hard enough, let alone getting yelled at by your boss. When you have someone yelling at you or even just raising his/her voice, it can be difficult to not yell back. When you don’t yell back solely because you fear losing your job, making things harder for yourself, ruining your reputation in front of others, or getting reprimanded, things can get pretty tricky. If you are in an argument with someone who is not above you, you can at least be honest and open about all of your feelings right then and there and come to a reasonable, calm agreement.

When it is your boss yelling at you, however, there are so many factors involved that go into how you will respond; it can be overwhelming. Some of the thoughts you might have include:

  • What if I yell back?
  • I want to call my boss a bad name, but I can’t.
  • What do I even say that will make my boss just stop yelling?
  • How do I avoid this in the future?
  • Gosh, this is embarrassing. What is my boss’ problem?
  • Do I feel like I’m being hazed or verbally abused?
  • How do I tell my boss that…
  • Who can I go to, to talk about this?
  • Can I talk to anyone else about this?
  • Why is my boss raising his/her voice at all?
  • How could he/she do this to me?!

The list goes on and on. The thoughts can be endless if you don’t get a handle on them. Herein, I discuss ways you can sift through your thoughts and emotions, find the story you wish to share, create a solution with your boss, and stand up for yourself.

1) Pull your boss aside.

If your boss is correcting or reprimanding you in front of others and it causes you to have any negative emotions because it is in front of others, your boss is in the wrong, period. Sure, can there be some validity to what he/she is trying to communicate? You bet. However, he/she is absolutely wrong for how he/she treated you. But, now that you know he/she is in the wrong, what do you do? Yell back? Quite the contrary. Remain calm. Do this by thinking to yourself, “I am going to be the adult here, the bigger person, and take the high road.” This will help you feel empowered in such a powerless situation. Calmly ask your boss, if you can meet with him/her one-on-one to follow up.

2) Fess up.

Take at least a night of sleep in between when the situation happened and when you privately meet with your boss. Analyze what he/she said. Put yourself in your boss’ shoes. “Why did he/she yell at me?” Think outside the box here. There are reasons that could be because of you, because of someone else, or because of an unknown situation in your boss’ life.

Regardless of the reason, you cannot control your boss’ anger; but, what you can do is identify what you did wrong and own up to it. Make this the first point to tackle in your one-on-one with your boss.

Come back in a week to see part two, where I explain the three steps to take following this point in your one-on-one with your boss!

How to Celebrate Your Employees’ Birthdays

How to Celebrate Your Employees’ Birthdays

There are so many ways to celebrate a birthday. People go wild; people have parades; people celebrate in the quiet of their homes; and, sometimes, people mourn or don’t celebrate at all.


Companies have the means to ensure birthdays are celebrated and remembered fondly (or anonymously if that’s how the employee likes it).

1) Start off with a birthday survey.

Collect the following information on the survey.

  • Please enter your first and last name.
  • What is your month and day of birth?
  • Do not get the year to avoid people knowing how old someone is. This can bring about negative feelings for some.
  • What is your favorite flavor of (insert special treat you’d be willing to get for the office to share, such as cupcakes)?
  • Please list all of your known food allergies.
  • Do you want your birthday to be celebrated in the office or kept hidden from public knowledge?

This simple survey can be sent to each employee upon being hired. Then, this can allow the HR department to move into the next step for celebrating employees’ birthdays.

2) Send out a monthly birthday email.

At the beginning of each month, send out an email, stating there are treats in the breakroom/kitchen for all to enjoy, including the flavor of treats for all birthdays celebrated that month (including the non-celebrated birthdays’ favorite flavors). Also include in the email whose birthdays are being celebrated that month and on what day. Again, do not include their year of birth. Encourage people to write a birthday note and pin it on the birthday board that can be hung in the breakroom/kitchen. Keep reading for information on all these various pieces of this celebration-practice in the office.

3) Provide birthday treats for everyone in the office to enjoy.

Provide the flavors of treats the people with birthdays that month stated were their favorite and a couple of traditional flavors. This means all can enjoy in the celebration, as well as the birthday people! This will also encourage people to partake in the next step.

4) Encourage people to post an appropriate birthday wish on the birthday board.

This Birthday Board can be hung in the breakroom/kitchen near the birthday treats. A cork board usually will do the trick, as they are not too expensive. Put out markers and fun colored papers for people to write notes. Each month, post a picture of the birthday people on the board with their full name above their picture and birth month and day. People can then pin their wishes near the pictures for each person. At the end of the month, gather the notes for each person in an envelope and leave them on that person’s desk or in their mailbox, whichever is company policy.

5) Send out an email first thing in the morning on the last week day of the month.

Tell people that today is the last day to celebrate office birthdays for the month of (fill in the blank). This will encourage any last minute people to post nice notes for the birthday people before they are taken down.

Repeat this for each month for all the workplace birthdays! This keeps things clear, concise, fun, and cost effective for the company to celebrate employee birthdays.

Want to be Their Wise and Trusted Leader? Do This 1 Thing Now: Part Two

Want to be Their Wise and Trusted Leader? Do This 1 Thing Now: Part Two

We are back with Part Two of “Want to be Their Wise and Trusted Leader? Do This 1 Thing Now!”  In Part One, we discussed how getting organized is the number one way to showcase three powerful skills.  Trustworthiness is the first skill we discussed, now it’s time for wisdom and leadership.

Skill #2: Wisdom

There is textbook knowledge, and then, there is “street” knowledge. The different between the two, as you may know, is that the former is all about theory and memorization, while the other is all about implementation and applied theoretical concepts. People often find that theory is not always correct in full. What really throws a wrench in theory is people. People can sometimes be unpredictable.

Here’s the Point: So, use your role as boss to show your employees that you don’t just have industry knowledge, but you also have industry wisdom–the ability to tell right from wrong based on experience.

Skill #3: Leadership

By showing people your wisdom through trustworthy actions and by giving people a sound understanding of what people can expect from you over time, all you have to do is simply facilitate coaching opportunities with each employee on your team.

A coach is, “a person who trains an athlete or a team of athletes,” to win a certain game. When coaches train athletes, they realize the season has to start off with easier tasks to accomplish and slowly build up to harder ones. Throughout that process, they pause practices to offer useful instruction that is equivalent to a SMART goal. According to Duncan Haughey from ProjectSmart, a SMART goal is, “Specific,… measurable,… agreed upon,… realistic,… and time-based.” Eventually, these players get thrown into a game and are commanded to act without intermittent instruction. Then, the coach reviews with the players actionable tasks they can implement to improve their play next time.

This is how a true leaders act.

These coaching opportunities are not times where you should yell or raise your voice even at your employee. This is a time to take the employee aside (Note: DO NOT do these in front of others.) and talk to him or her about (1) what happened, (2) why they did what they did, (3) what you expect of them moving forward, and (4) how to accomplish what you wish to see them do. Then, you should have a meeting to check back in on the issue with the employee.

“How is it going as you try to implement this strategy I taught you?” you might ask.

This type of scenario gives employees the true hope that they can come to you with problems and not bury them.

Here’s the Point: So, be a coach, not a tyrant, “who uses power oppressively or unjustly.”

If you showcase these three character traits, your employees will know they can follow you because you are good to your word, you are thoroughly knowledgeable and experienced, and you are someone who leads with a just attitude, not a vengeful and/or emotional attitude.

Want to be Their Wise and Trusted Leader? Do This 1 Thing Now: Part One

Want to be Their Wise and Trusted Leader? Do This 1 Thing Now: Part One

Employees do look up to their bosses. Whether they like you or not is an entirely different matter.

The important thing here is that you know that they see you as above them in at least some manner, and so, regardless of how they view you now, you need to capitalize on that thought of theirs. Instead of using that power to do whatever you may please, think to yourself, “If I were in their shoes and I noticed there was something that needed fixing or tuning up in the company, and I brought it to my manager, wouldn’t I be frustrated if my manager didn’t do anything about my plea or, worse, forgot about it altogether?”

This question shouldn’t drive you to give them every single thing they ask for, but rather, it should drive you to do one thing:

Get organized.

Getting organized is key to showing your employees a variety of different skills you have, which are vital to your success as their manager. When you get organized, you will give yourself the opportunity to showcase these three powerful skills. With these three skills, you will surely be the best manager in the office.

Skill #1: Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness is not just a character trait; it is a skill, because you have to diligently practice it overtime to truly earn the trust of those around you. A simple way to increase your employee’s view of your trustworthiness is to tell them you will do something and then do it. This may seem simple, but this requires you to be diligent about even the smallest things you tell them you will do.

Schedule a date that you will follow up on their inquiry and actually get back to them about it, no matter how small. Make their inquiries of high priority to you; you do manage them, after all, and it is your duty.

This will not only be a good example for other managers, it will also show your employees what is expected of them if they wish to grow in the company. Your employees will complain less, because they will know they can come to you with anything, and you will act on it. You may not always act in their favor, they might note, but they know you will truly take into consideration all that they say.

Here’s the Point: So, be a person of your word no matter how short and sweet that word might be.

Come back in a couple weeks or Part Two of “Want to be Their Wise and Trusted Leader? Do This 1 Thing Now!”