Instead of giving me feedback in private, she publicly blamed me for making some errors in a report.
Q. I am upset with my supervisor because she recently corrected me in front of my co-workers. Instead of giving me feedback in private, she publicly blamed me for making some errors in a report.
While I accept responsibility for these mistakes, I believe it was disrespectful to point them out in a meeting. This is not the first time my supervisor has done this. How can I talk to her about treating me with more respect?
A: Reprimanding the boss is never a good idea, so don’t accuse your supervisor of being disrespectful. That will only start an argument which you cannot win. Instead, try using “I statements” to help her understand how you felt in this situation, then politely request a different approach in the future.
For example: “I have a favor to ask. Last week, when we discussed my errors during the staff meeting, I felt very embarrassed. Although I understand your concerns, I would appreciate it if we could talk about any future problems in private. Would that be OK with you?”
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Most managers understand that public criticism is inappropriate, so hopefully your supervisor will agree to this request. Going forward, if she should happen to slip up and repeat her error, just listen to the feedback, then ask if you could discuss the matter in her office.
On the other hand, if your boss defends the practice of admonishing people in front of their peers, then she either missed Management 101 or is poorly suited for her position. Managers who believe in public reprimands tend to have a punitive leadership style and a high rate of turnover.
Submit questions to Marie G. McIntyre at yourofficecoach.com.