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Criticism Bullies Communication

I have been on this job for just over a month, and my relationship with my boss was very pleasant at first. Over the weeks, he has become much more critical, and this morning he snapped at me. I don't think my work has changed, and I don't know him well enough to figure out what is happening here. Do you have any ideas?

Many people think that snapping bosses are extinct or at least on the endangered species list, but they seem to be thriving. Your boss is obviously undergoing some kind of metamorphosis, and you need to take some action before he morphs into something even worse.

The only way to figure out what is happening here is for you to communicate with him. Let him know that you enjoy your job, but you are concerned about the current working relationship with him. Give him some examples of his behaviors that created problems for you, and tell him that this kind of treatment interferes with your productivity.

Let him know that you are motivated to continue to grow on the job and improve your work, but in order to do so, you need constructive feedback rather than harsh and aggressive criticism. The next step is to ask him if he can provide it.

Listen carefully to what he says, and, more importantly, see if his behavior improves. Perhaps he will get the message. But if he does not, then there is a message for you: life is too short, and the labor market is too tight, to put up with a bully.

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