Your Career: Time to Talk with Boss About His Bad Behavior

An employee is worried that his supervisor isn’t leading by example. Our careers consultant offers tips on how to approach the problem.

Q I work inside a relatively small organization where the reporting structure is relatively rigid. My boss is a nice guy, but I have personally witnessed his unprofessional behavior and inappropriate comments toward some of our direct reports. I understand the importance of establishing relationships among the team, but at times I worry he is not leading by example, and his behavior could hurt our department long term. How can I approach him about this situation?

AFirst and foremost, it important to have this conversation in a private environment to prevent outside influences and his embarrassment. Once you have established the right environment, I recommend having a human-to-human conversation concerning your observations. I would explain that he may not be aware of the potential long-term ramification of his comments, and that you are bringing this to his attention during a sensitive time in the business and health care environments.

By sharing your thoughts and concerns with your boss, you are accomplishing three major goals.

  • You are looking out for his best interests.
  • are protecting the organization.
  • Perhaps most important, you are building a relationship based upon, trust, respect and honestly.

As a final tip, be aware of your tone and the words chosen during this discussion. Avoid accusatory or judgmental words.

Topics: Career Planning Journal

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