How to talk to an intimidating boss

And then there's the issue of Fortune magazine devoted every couple of years to America's "toughest" bosses. " At least in large corporations, bullying is not as blatant as it once was.Take the female CEO who reportedly yelled at the executives of a division she felt was underperforming: "You're eunuchs! "The John Wayne image of a leader doesn't go over so well in the '90s" notes Pat Alexander of the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina.They don't build in perpetuation of the organization, says Levinson."It keeps you in a state of psychological emergency. They see themselves as better than others--which only acts to justify their bullying behavior--a feeling reinforced by promotion. D., the dean of organizational psychologists and head of the Levinson Institute in Waltham, Massachusetts.

It's getting too costly much sooner in most companies.They're not professional managers." Stybel warns workers not to focus on where bullying comes from."When observers see a boss behave as a bully, they attribute it to trait characteristics. It's almost always a product of individual history and make-up--and the company atmosphere. The most important thing is the behavior." Bullies do a lot of damage in organizations. They put people in a protective mode, which interferes with the company's ability to generate innovation.Stybel cites the example of a large New England hospital where the bully is a brilliant physician who has been the director of radiology for 11 years.The bullying was an issue over the years--in the exit interviews of departing technical staff.

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It breeds a kind of psychological ignorance." Stybel has developed a psychological karate chop to "unfreeze" executives's attitudes--a customized letter of probation.

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