Bad boss! Bad! – Dog Abby
My boss chastised me in front of my teammates at our weekly meeting yesterday. I am embarrassed and hurt and need to somehow let him know before it further damages our professional relationship. How do you suggest I handle this?
Hurt in Hamilton
Dear Bad Dog Dude,
When my mom was first training me, she had the good grace to take me to an open field where we could be alone and honest with each other. We developed a mutual trust that made working together easy and even fun. To this day, mom will only tell me “no” and use what I call “mean mommy voice” when I have done something very, very bad that must be fixed right there and then to protect me and others.
But you must understand, I am a dog. You may treat dogs like people, but you do not treat people like dogs.
If your boss is a grown-up and can handle it, be honest with him. Take this letter to your boss and talk about it. Also, give him a copy of mom’s book, The Sniper’s Guide to Leadership, turned to page 178 with the following paragraph highlighted:
“Criticizing someone in front of their peers is ineffective. Even if you have a perfectly valid point, all they hear is that you desired to humiliate them. It does not motivate, never has, and never will. The closest thing you will ever see is that person straightening out just long enough to find another job. Usually what you’ll see is a team that avoids you and each other with each member just trying to not get singled out.”
If your boss is not a grown-up who can handle it, run away. I would rather herd sheep or chase pigeons than fetch tennis balls for a tyrant.