By Valerie Cade CSP | June 18, 2008
You want to speak up to the bully boss, but you are not sure what to say. You study how to have a crucial conversation that counts with your bully boss – you are aware. But you don’t say anything. Now what?
As a professional speaker and author, this field is a lot like surfing i.e. 90% paddling and 10% riding the wave. There is a lot of preparation and confidence building needed in order to be effective. Dealing with a Bully Boss might constitute the same rationale – you want to be effective, so you wait until you feel that you are.
But what is your main feeling is fear when it comes to dealing with a Bully Boss? Here are the top fears – “If I say something to a Bully Boss”:
You keep wondering and doubting if the behavior you are experiencing is in fact Bully Boss behavior.
Most “nice” people want to see the best in others, and they often have a hard time justifying a confrontation with anyone. There is a small part that wonders “What if I’m wrong?”
What To Do:
To gain conviction and assurance that you are experiencing Bully Boss behavior, document the situations that occur to remind yourself that you have the right to say something. P.S. Remember your approach does not have to be harsh – but it does need to be firm.
You are worried that once you speak up, the Bully Boss will treat you even worse.
True, the Bully Boss will likely push back – expect this. But what does this really mean? If targets can expect this and remind themselves that the Bully Boss’s control needs are about the Bully Boss and not the target, then the target can perhaps hang in there. Eventually many a Bully Boss will see you are strong and that you can assert a boundary. They may move on to an easier target.
What To Do:
Hang in there – consistently standing up for yourself, documenting, and speaking the facts as you see them.
Once the Bully Boss retaliates, you are not sure what to say.
This prevents you from saying anything at all.
What To Do:
Less is more, and it shows confidence. After stating what you need to say, clearly and with confidence, the Bully Boss will likely push back. Be ready to minimize their hostility and need for control with short, simple, come-back phrases.
What are your fears in speaking up to a Bully Boss? What has happened?
Next Week: Short Simple Come-Backs to Use With Office Bullies