4 things to do if your boss bashes you in front of other employees


In a perfect world, we would all get along with our bosses. Often, however, that's not the case. In fact, many of us can probably relate to the experience of an employer badmouthing our work performance and even sharing their distaste with fellow employees.

However, it's important that employees work well with their boss, especially because the type of relationship you have is an important predictor of how enjoyable your experience is at work. So what should workers do if their boss is relentlessly bashing them?

Marc Cenedella, CEO of job site Ladders, tells CNBC Make It that employees should take these four steps to ease tensions with their boss (and hopefully save their job):

1. Confront your boss about the problem

When you catch wind that your employer is saying rude or unkind things, "focus on making sure you have good communication," says Cenedella.

How so? He suggests reaching out to your boss and setting up a meeting to discuss the problem at hand. That way, you are taking an active role in resolving the issue.

Once you've settled on a meeting time, Cenedella says it's important that you remove any personal feelings before entering the conversation.

2. Focus on the details of the issue

Your time has come, you're face-to-face with your boss and it's now time to tell him or her off, right? Wrong. Cenedella says that in order for you both to find a solution it's important to focus solely on the details and your respective interpretations of the issue.

"Discuss what you've heard and your reaction to it," says Cenedella, "but don't get into a back and forth." He suggests focusing on parts of a conversation that are the most objectionable to you, such as the tenure, tone or implication of the comments made.

"Don't be antagonistic, whining or accusatory," he says.

It's also a good idea to find out the goal your boss had in making certain comments. For example: "When you say my work isn't good, what are you hoping to achieve or get from that?" says Cenedella.

He notes that if a boss makes a specific comment to just one employee, it's best to be general, so as not to out your fellow co-worker. If a comment was made to a broad group or said to multiple people, it's okay to pinpoint specific comments that were made.

3. Check in regularly with your boss to avoid further issues

Now that both of your issues are out in the open, you can work toward finding a solution. Cenedella suggests asking your boss what you can do to make things better so together you can salvage the job and working relationship.

From there, make regular one-on-one check-ins with your boss a priority. "Do regular sit-downs of about thirty minutes to talk about performance, obstacles and long term career development," Cenedella says. "It's an important professional habit to have so you aren't caught by surprise if your boss is complaining about your work."

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4. Look for a new job

If neither you nor your boss can come to an agreement, it may be time to find a new job. Cenedella advises that employees immediately begin to network and keep an eye on other opportunities. "It's always easier to to find a job when you already have one," he says.

If the issues have gotten worse and your boss just doesn't seem to like you, Cenedella has one simple piece of advice: quit.

"Just quit. There's a vibrant employment market," he says. He adds that if things become more complicated you may need to seek legal advice.

Cenedella ends with this piece of advice: "Just remember that when you're working for a boss, your job is to get your boss a gold star," he says. "The more successful your boss is, the better you'll look and the more your boss will like you. That's something all employees should be mindful of."

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