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Insults Meetings Feedback Public Reprimands

At a recent weekly management meeting, one of the managers who is usually upbeat and positive was extremely critical of everything I said, and his tone was condescending and insulting. I don't know what his problem was, but all of us noticed it. Should I say something, or figure it was one of those things and let it go?

Perhaps your colleague was having one of those days, but that does not give him the right to give you one of those days. By saying nothing to him after he slammed you around the meeting, you set the stage for him to do it again next time.

The best time to let him know that you do not appreciate having him dump all of his baggage on you would have been right after the meeting. Once some time passes, this type of incident becomes very stale, and your colleague can fall into a state of denial or convenient forgetfulness. Now the best step is to be prepared for the next meeting.

If this meeting turns into a continuation of the abusive treatment, you should have a little private chat with this colleague afterwards. Let him know that you have always enjoyed working with him, but you see a real change in the way he is treating you. If necessary, give him some examples. Tell him that you are concerned about his actions and about him, and then ask him if everything is all right.

The next step is to listen. You may hear defensiveness, denying, rationalizing, or even an apology. No matter what path he selects, make sure that he understands that the path of continued abuse is closed.

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