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Bullies Assertiveness Feedback Working Conditions Conflict

My manager picks on me and makes annoying comments. For example, yesterday he walked by my area and said it's time to clean up the mess. Everyone else's area is just as messy, but he doesn't say this to them. Besides, I clean it up at the end of the day. What should I do?

It may or may not be time to clean up your area, but it is definitely time to meet with your manager and clean up the working relationship. In approaching this meeting, the best technique is to try to do more listening than talking.

You can open with some positive comments, and then let him know that some of his negative comments are disturbing you and interfering with your work. Give him a few examples and tell him you would like them to stop. Then be quiet.

His reaction is going to be very revealing. He may have no idea that his comments were so upsetting. Perhaps he has been picking on you because he sees you as a sharp employee, or maybe his comments are his way of being funny, or perhaps he is not satisfied with your work and is channeling his dissatisfaction through these remarks. Depending upon his reaction, the discussion can go down several different paths. However, no matter where the discussion goes from this point, unless your manager is operating out of the Stone Age, he will get the message.

If he continues to pick on you, then you should do some picking yourself. Namely, pick up the phone and call his manager.

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