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Your Office Coach

When a manager completely flips out

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Q: “After a recent meeting, my boss called me into his office and slammed the door.  He got right in my face, backed me against the wall, and said, ‘Don't ever make another comment like the one you just made in that meeting!’

“When I stated that I was only expressing my personal opinion on a business issue, he shook his finger at me and repeated ‘Don't ever, ever do that again!’ His anger scared me, so I left quickly.

“In the three years that we have worked together, nothing like this has ever happened before. Do you think I should discuss this with my boss or just report him to human resources?”  Confused

A: Regardless of what you said, your manager's aggressive reaction was completely inexcusable.  However, since this is one isolated incident in a three-year relationship, you should probably give him a chance to explain.

For example: "Bob, we've worked together for a long time, so I was really taken aback when you got so angry with me the other day. To be perfectly honest, I was rather frightened. Can you help me understand what was so upsetting?"

No matter what he says, listen calmly without arguing or debating. An apology would be nice, but that may not happen. Hopefully, this unexpected outburst will be a one-time occurrence, but if your boss ever threatens you again, you should definitely inform Human Resources.

Sadly, some bosses have serious anger management issues.  If this describes your manager, consider these survival tips: How to Handle a Hothead Boss.

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