Handling people who talk down to you

In the workplace you’ll inevitably encounter people who don’t think you’re important enough. They may talk down to you, go over your head or disregard you entirely, but you don’t have to just sit back and take it, says career expert Sara McCord.

She advises you take these steps:

•  Clarify your responsibilities. In situations where someone wants to speak to your boss instead of accepting your response, it’s important to be certain you aren’t overstepping. You don’t want to find out later that they were right, and they should have been speaking to your boss the whole time.

•  Stand up for yourself. If you know you’ve been given a project or task for a reason, then have confidence in your supervisor’s faith in you. If someone else questions your role, don’t be afraid to push back, but do so without being contentious.

•  Talk to your boss. Sometimes, people will be persistently disrespectful. If you’ve made a real effort to handle the problem on your own, you should let your boss give you a hand.

HR Memos D

— Adapted from “How to Handle Someone Who Insists on Going Over Your Head,” Sara McCord, The Muse.