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Betrayal Tattling Bullies Conflict

I made a mistake on a project and I am trying to correct it. One of my co-workers found out about it and told my boss. It is just a matter of time before my boss calls me into his office for one of his trademark verbal bashings. What is the best way to prepare for this?

It is ironically tempting to say that a boss who verbally bashes others is the one who deserves a verbal bashing. However, the truth is that no one should be subjected to this type of treatment. Such behavior is mean-spirited and destructive, and it does nothing to help resolve or prevent a problem.

It is sad that you are asking how to prepare for his so-called trademark behavior, since this means that your boss reverts to bullying on a regular basis.

At this point, you need a more proactive approach. Do not wait for him to call you to his office. Set up a meeting with him now and tell him exactly what happened, and then give him the specifics of what you are doing to correct it. Keep your explanation free of excuses and blaming, and just be factual and businesslike.

By bringing up the problem yourself rather than waiting for him to do so, you set the framework, tone, and tenor for the discussion, and you control the information that is provided. With this approach, you are far less likely to encounter a managerial ambush. Speaking of ambushes, your co-worker who ran to your boss with the news should be literally and figuratively kept at arm's length.

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