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Alcohol Drinking Feedback Nastiness Arguments

The owner of the small company where I work is wonderful, but we have all noticed that he is more forgetful, short-fused, and argumentative in the afternoons. We know that he has a drink or two at lunch, and we think this is part of it, but none of us want to tell him. How should we handle this?

It is entirely possible that the happy hour at lunch can lead to the nasty hours shortly thereafter. At the same time, the change in the owner's behavior can be due to a number of other physiological or psychological factors.

If the owner is truly "wonderful," then you should have an open, honest, and communicative working relationship with him. If you and some of your associates are particularly close to him, you may be doing him a huge favor by meeting with him to talk about what you have observed.

It is very important to set the right stage for this type of meeting. Obviously, it should be in the morning, and on a relatively quiet day at work. The discussion should be private, confidential, and free of interruptions.

You are not meeting with him to criticize or complain. Your messages should be that you have noticed some behaviors that do not seem like him, you are concerned about his health, and you want to know if there is anything you can do to help. Give him examples of the specific behaviors, and then let him talk.

At that point, you have done all you can do. The question then becomes whether he will do likewise.

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