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Stopping bullying before it starts

(5 Posts)
OhIDoLikeToBeBeside Wed 24-Apr-13 19:29:41

I am in my second week of a new job. It is the perfect job for me and I know I will really enjoy it. But my boss (line manager as well as overall boss of the business) regularly shouts at people! As I have been going round my Induction meetings with colleagues, everyone at my level asks me "has she shouted at you yet?". Apparently it is not personal, but ...

I am hoping someone will have some advice. Firstly on what I can do immediately when I am in the situation. She has been nice to me so far but I want to be prepared and handle it well.

Also, I manage a team of secretaries who are the most often shouted at. How can I defend them/protect them? A couple have already tolde they live in constant fear of making a mistake because then they get shouted at.

Any advice at all?

racingheart Thu 25-Apr-13 15:03:15

Is the boss generally a good and fair person who just shouts when she's stressed? If so, I'd just say: Are you aware how anxious people feel when you raise your voice? Please would you make your comments calmly?

If she's a bully, I'd confront her every time. Stand opposite her, make eye contact and say: 'Don't shout at me. Don't shout at the secretaries.'

She can't keep doing this. It sounds horrible.

mingtea Mon 29-Apr-13 20:11:14

I'm interested to hear what can be done about this! My boss also is a shouter and when confronted, will merely say "that isn't shouting. you will KNOW when I am shouting" which isn't helpful.

General reaction is for everyone else to try and calm her down by agreeing with her completely even if she is shouting total bollocks

littleflowerlady Mon 29-Apr-13 21:38:15

Good grief!

Do people really still put up with this sort of 5hit? shock

EmmyLH Tue 30-Apr-13 10:41:07

Yes they do, littleflowerlady. All across the globe apparently...

I completely understand, sounds a lot like my job/boss. If I'm being honest (rather than idealistic) I would weigh up what you may achieve by attempting to tackle the behaviour. In my company, the person in question is so senior that being able to manage their behaviour is almost an employable quality in itself - it's made clear at interview and we have all developed coping strategies (I know how awful this sounds but the job depends on it). However because you are a manager I think you have a duty of care to your team. Maybe as a newbie, you even have an advantage as you can tackle it swiftly? I'd be tempted to ask your boss to approach you with any secretarial issues (if you're feeling brave...)

I know some people may not view standing on the sidelines taking abuse as positive, but my colleagues have always commended me on my ability to handle the behaviour, to stay calm and proactively attempt to diffuse the situations. Professionally it definitely grates, but it has in fact done me some favours...

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