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Admin Pro Forum

How do you deal with a short-tempered boss?

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Question: "My boss is a very good one about nine days out of ten .... and then there always comes a day when he blows his stack a little. I can usually see it coming, but even so, I find it unsettling. I'm not sure I have the patience to endure anyone with even a mild anger problem—to me there's just never a call for it to escape someone's lips. How have others dealt with a hothead?" - Madeleine, Direct Response Marketing Associate

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Shandree April 24, 2019 at 5:14 pm

I would have a conversation with them and explain how I perceived their behavior. Ask them if they are ok, if they want to talk about it. A lot of times, individuals don’t know how their behavior comes across to others because no one has ever addressed it with them. If you do, you will find most individuals are apologetic about it and will change their behavior immediately. It’s usually something deeper going on in their work or personal life that has triggered the behavior.

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Lauren Oliver September 19, 2018 at 3:20 pm

I know that the best of us loose our temper/control at times. I know, we are humans. But it’s always somehow the expectation that we always remain under control. Lucky for me, I’ve never really had a boss who blew a mental gasket and I am sure, unless it was directed towards me, it wouldn’t impact my entire day. However, some people have larger egos than others; so they get more of a kick out of being the angry hothead.

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Wanda August 24, 2018 at 8:26 am

Just like we have stressful moments, so does our bosses. They are human too. When my boss is short or, as I like to call it, overwhelmed, I allow her time to complete her task then I go back make sure she is okay. I do not allow an explosion from her dictate my day. Most times she is not aware of her abrupt behavior. When we talk about it, and we do talk about it, she is apologetic and works hard at not doing it again. When she does slip, it always comes with an explanation and an apology. Don’t take it personally. Nobody controls your feelings but you.

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Sara August 24, 2018 at 7:55 am

I’ve told myself many times that the next time my boss exploded, I would quit. But about 24 hours go by and the little things I’m grateful for at my job re-emerge. If I were to ever be insulted by my boss, that would likely send me out the door. What I try to tell myself is to wait a little while after any stressful moment, and only analyze it then.

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LP October 15, 2018 at 3:43 pm

I used to say I would quit if is happened again, too.

I worked for a boss who would fly off the handle and yell at me in front of my staff (8 people). I would say “Can we please discuss this calmly in your office?” and he would continue to yell at me in front of the staff. Then one day I said, between clenched teeth, “You have a bad heart and you’re going to cause yourself to have a heart attack. When you do, I will step over your dead body, give the staff the rest of the week off, and no one will find your lifeless body until your wife notices you are missing.” He stopped and then said “Okay, let’s go into my office and discuss the situation.” During the meeting with me, he discovered the mistake he thought I had made wasn’t my mistake (it was the person who got him all riled up – they said “LP really messed this up” but I had proof that the mistake was theirs), and he never set the record straight to the staff, but quietly met with the person who made the mistake without yelling at them. He thought twice about yelling at me again, though. When he would start to get angry, I would remind him that he was damaging his heart and that I was not above leaving his lifeless body in the middle of the office while I went home.

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Donna August 23, 2018 at 4:28 pm

I left the room and next day when I came to work I went into his office and I told him this: “you have hired me to support, assist, advise and make you look good and be successful. So, when I say that you need to do something or go somewhere it means that you have to do it because my job is to keep track of your daily activity. If you don’t like me to do my job please say so.” He apologized and promised that it won’t happen again. And it did not ever since.

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