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Bullies Quitting Time Yelling Meetings

I was at a meeting with several other managers today and the senior manager running the meeting attacked one of the others because of a very minor mistake. As the meeting was closing, I mentioned a point that needed further discussion, and he jumped at me and told me I was wrong and declared the meeting over. How do you deal with someone like this?

Words like "attacked" and "jumped" are not exactly high on the list of behaviors from today's best managers. In fact, these behaviors are the exact opposite of what you would find in truly excellent companies.

In excellent companies, people obviously still make mistakes, but they are not torn apart or insulted for doing so. Mistakes are discussed and reviewed, but this is done as a building process, not a demolition project. When employees sense they will be thrashed for an error, they become far less creative, daring, imaginative, and productive.

You are in the best position to know what to do with your bully. If he runs hot-and-cold, there may be a time when you can approach him and talk about what happened here, and even give him some insight into the impact of his behavior. However, if he is a twenty-four seven bully, you should try to keep your contact with him to a minimum and consider speaking with his manager.

The larger question is whether your company tolerates and even condones his behavior. If his behavior is standard for your organization, the question is whether you should be working somewhere else with higher standards.

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