How should I respond to condescending comments?

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Question: "How do you resolve conflict and assuage damaging, condescending comments that are very subtly done?  The comments come from a manager to an employee who (technically) does not report to him.  He has had several reports lodged against him regarding this. All previous employees who complained are no longer here, but he is." — Fed up

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You could say "Did you hear what you just said!" and or follow up with, I would appreciate it if you would show me the same respect you would like to have. I wouldn't suggest giving a taste of his own medicine, as there are those that really just don't understand what they sound like.

First, document every instance.
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

sp February 14, 2012 at 1:49 am

If the person is behaving condescendingly to one, she is likely to be doing the same to others. Complain individually to HR so the complaints stack up against her. SHE needs to leave, not you. Help show her the way out. But remain calm and do it the right way , don’t blow up.

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Reese November 18, 2011 at 9:37 pm

I understand how this all comes to play, I started working with a company six months ago and I respect and admire my boss, unfortunately she does not respect me. I have been top sales in the region since I started I have increased the bottom line. I am making leaps and bounds with Marketing an growing the business, and all my boss does is condesend and disrespect me. Constantly critisizes and blames me, rolls her eyes in disgust, Never listens to me and always says, I do not understand a word you say. I feel like I am loosing momentum from this behavior. It has to stop!!!!

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Annie June 1, 2010 at 11:27 am

I’d really like to read something of how to deal with my emotions. I just received a abrupt email by a co-worker. I was seething from it. But really, she’s frequently this way. I think she has poor self-esteem. I also think that since she doesn’t know English very well, that her subtlety is lacking for how to convey things very well. I work off-side so I can’t speak to her personally about it. It wouldn’t make any difference anyway. I can’t change her. I can only change myself. I prefer to live in the solution. The best solutions for me is to stay away from her as much as possible. I’m also going to drink a nice latte now and take extra good care of myself and nurse my wound and get back to being productive again so that I feel better about myself.

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Debbie Kay January 15, 2010 at 6:58 pm

REPLY WITH: I’m not sure how to take your comment, so could you explain the intent?
OR: So that I don’t misinterpret your comment, could you please rephrase your point?

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