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.
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!