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!