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Master a two-faced boss

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Q When my boss drops in on my staff meetings, he’s Mr. Understanding. He’ll say to my staff, “People make mistakes. It’s OK. Let’s learn from ‘em.” But when he gets me alone, he’ll yell and call me names for “screwing up.” What can I do?

A When you’re alone with him, applaud him for how well he handled your staff. Say, “You inspired everyone by turning our setback into an opportunity and not lashing out.” The next time he yells at you, let him blow off steam—to a point. Once you feel he crosses a line, say, “I’d appreciate it if we could discuss this calmly.”

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