4 ways to deal with a nasty outburst

There are bumps in the road in every relationship, including with your boss. When something happens that causes your boss to lash out at you, consider your own role in causing the problem, Hannah Morgan writes at U.S. News & World Report. She offers four options for dealing with an outburst by your manager.

1. Let it go. Sometimes doing nothing is the best option. If your boss is stressed out about something that doesn’t involve you, or the behavior doesn’t affect your work, it might be best to keep quiet and deal with it. You’re powerless to change your boss’ behavior, but you can change how you react to it.

2. Take an indirect approach. Find an article related to the issue and show it to your boss. Tell him or her that you have a similar issue with a co-worker and would like some advice on how to proceed. Discuss good leadership tactics in a way that avoids addressing your boss’ bad behavior. Hopefully, it will cause your boss to do some introspection.

3. Give your boss feedback on improving the team. Ask whether your boss would be open to hearing some feedback about the team before you dish out unsolicited advice. Frame your feedback in a way that doesn’t accuse your boss of anything and that shows you’re only concerned with what’s best for the team. Praise your boss for something good he or she did before you mention any problems.

4. Explain how the outburst made you feel. Tell your boss that you appreciate his or her opinion and you want to improve your work, but you felt embarrassed being criticized in front of others. Ask to have future discussions about your performance in private.

— Adapted from “4 Ways to Handle the Boss From Hell,” Hannah Morgan, U.S. News & World Report.