How to Handle a Boss Who Yells

Misplaced agression much? Whether your boss verbally abuses by yelling, belittling or bullying employees, that’s so not cool. This type of environment instills fear and who wants to work in that situation?

Unfortunately, abusive bosses exist and it’s not exactly like we always have a choice about who we report to.

As pointed out in a piece on Fast Company, for starters, don’t take it personally. It’s like the book, The Four Agreements — this isn’t about you. It’s all about them. Plus, you can’t fix your his or her problems but you must be able to learn to deflect from the abuse. Imagine yourself wearing a shield where their words or actions get deflected by the armor.

Everyone’s situation may be a bit different but this type of negative environment could be all-consuming, draining and downright scary. If your boss is making threats, definitely report it to HR.

Sometimes the only way out is literally to get a new job. A boss that has the ability to make everyone miserable also has the ability to succeed in that feat.

If you try to stick it out or at least stick it out until another gig comes along, start identifying their triggers. What makes him or her go off the deep end? Is it arriving late to a meeting? Not responding quickly enough to voicemails? Having a messy desk? Observe and chances are, a few clues will reveal themselves so you can be proactive and avoid stepping into the wrath of anger.

Now, bosses that fall into this category may also be manipulative and have serious psychological disorders. Sometimes bosses may be clueless to their behavior; in other instances not so much. They know they can get away with it, they know what buttons to push. The key is picking your battles wisely and if you feel like you’re constantly walking on egg shells or becoming self-conscious about your work due to derogatory remarks, it’s definitely time to seek help.

The key is also not waiting until it gets to the breaking point. The Fast Company piece reminds us to stay calm: “Be specific about how his or her abusive behavior is affecting your work and which particular actions are intolerable. But whatever you do, keep your cool; nothing good can come from a yelling match.”