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Bullies Insults Feedback Insecurity Assertiveness Know It All's Condescending Treatment

Whenever I talk with our manager, he makes me feel stupid, even though my work is just fine. He uses belittling language, and his whole demeanor is condescending. We all know that he is smart, but he seems to take pride in putting the rest of us down. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with him?

He may indeed be smart, but there is nothing smart about degrading others. It sounds like he has some insecurities in this area, and his way of dealing with them is to try to put himself above the rest of you. Whatever the cause, bullying others and being mean, insulting, hurtful are not acceptable forms of management.

Although you and your associates are not going to be able to change the personality traits that may driving this type of behavior, you may be able to have an impact on the behavior itself. The next time he addresses you with demeaning language, tell him in a businesslike way that you want this treatment to stop. Emphasize the fact that it is undermining morale, attitudes, productivity, loyalty, and commitment, and truly destroying everything that he is trying to do in the department. In fact, his treatment of the troops may be causing the very errors that he attributes to their stupidity.

Be sure to let him know that if this treatment continues, you are going to discuss it with senior management. His style is moving in the exact opposite direction of effective management today, and if he keeps it up, he is increasingly likely to be moving in the exact opposite direction too.

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