My Boss Is Angry

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What should I do immediately when my boss is angry?
  • What should I do in the short term when my boss is angry?
  • Who should I discuss this situation with?

This cast helps you deal with the moment when your boss is angry with you.

We've often said that it's perfectly acceptable to bring our human emotions to work. It must be, because we all do. We all have moments when we're angry, annoyed, proud, amused, and even elated. Not only do we have all these emotions, our bosses do too. And sometimes, our bosses let their emotions get the better of them and they let us know that right now, something we did ticked them off and 'made them mad'. (If you've been listening a long time, you'll know we don't believe that other people can 'make' you anything, but since that's common language, it's what we'll use here).

So, in the moment, when your boss is shouting in person or down the phone, what do you do? Or maybe your boss isn't a shouter - he's doing the quiet, steely-eyed thing, but you know he's angry? This cast will help you deal with that situation.

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Struggling with Step 2

 If the thing the manager is angry about and is accusing you of doing is actually incorrect, do you still say "You're right"?  Seems dangerous, as you could be admitting to something which could lead to your dismissal (inparticular in regions with weak employment laws where on the spot dismissal  is legal).  If it's serious enough for a manager to get angry about then it's probably serious enough to have some consequences attached.

To adjust the example from the cast, the manager says you promised a customer delivery on Wednesday, which cannot be met, when you know you actually said Friday, which can.   Maybe the manager misheard something or misunderstood or has been listening to malicious gossip.

I've been in a similar situation (accused of bringing a gun to work, bear in mind that this is the UK where such things are really frowned upon) which turned out to be a manager had believed some malicious gossip from one of my colleagues and then gone to my manager with a complaint.  Unfortunately she didn't identify the source of the gossip else my manager woudl have known to discount it and to go after the source as he was known for startign rumours to get others into trouble but hadn't yet reached the level of a dismissable offense, this (once the facts were established) tipped him over.  Had I said "You're right" I would have been admitting to not only a dismissal offense but also a criminal one.  I've also wittnessed situatiosn where a manager has said that a colleague has said or done something that I know they did not but if they had could lead to disciplinary censure or at least a ding on their performance review.  It's hard to later deny doing something that you've already admitted to.



Skype: stephenbooth_uk  | DiSC: 6137

"Start with the customer and work backwards, not with the tools and work forwards" - James Womack


 I appreciated this

 I appreciated this podcast. In 2009, as I posted here, I had a boss who was angry at me a lot for the wrong reasons (he was swiftly moved at the end of the year when we got acquired). Currently, I have a boss who supports me, but HER boss gets angry at her over things they think I've done. Kind of like what Stephen is under, my boss's boss's is hearing if fourth hand: someone tells someone else, who tells a boss, who tells my boss's boss, who went screaming at my boss. The facts were so wrong, and my boss knew it.

But what I appreciated was about the don't  try to defend. As a logical guy, that's what I want to do, when I did resort to the active listening. I was trained as a peer counselor a long time ago, I have read When I Say No, I Feel Guilty, as well as Boundaries. So I just have to know the right times to do those things, and this cast was a reminder.

However, I'm sick of all this. Since i posted on my thread about a job interview that I wasn't sure about, more of my coworkers (development at large pharmaceutical company) have left, more people nitpick things about my project they don't understand, and i dread coming in. I think they will offer severances next month to people who want to leave, so I'm ready to go. That Market Upturn cast was on-target, as I've been getting lots of calls lately.

counting breath???

 what does this mean for listening to people when they talk to you? it appears ou will not be listening and this can lead to further misunderstanding, say, if a question is posed while you were 'away' busy counting? then you will turn out as ignoring the boss ans she will scream the more "you are not even listening!!!"