My boss is a meanie!
I work for a veterinarian who's nice to clients—but she yells and criticizes her team in public. She doesn't even say hello or goodbye to us half of the time. What can we do?
Dear Put Down,
The bad news: Cupid doesn't carry "nice" darts. So you're going to have to put in a little elbow grease to smooth out these rough waters.
Next, plan a heart-to-heart with your boss. Talk one-on-one, and keep it private. Here's the tough part: You've got to offer specific examples of the behavior that's bothering you. That means you're forbidden from starting any sentence with the words "always" or "never." And you've got to be nice. Seriously. Your boss has feelings, too, and if you're confrontational she'll just tune you out. You might say, "It really embarrassed me yesterday when you criticized me in front of a client. I appreciate your feedback on how to improve, but I feel more comfortable talking about it in private."
I know it's tough. The truth is, changing behavior is hard. So the whole team needs to be on board. If you approach this with a positive, friendly attitude, your boss just might surprise you.