The Boss from Hell: Quick to Criticize, Slow to Praise

So you have a boss who dumps all over you the moment things go wrong, but never seems to notice when things go right. Ouch.

Jamie is a hard-working, cheery, full-of-ideas kind of manager. She leads two high-functioning teams who support each other very well. So why does Jamie come to work with a stomachache every day? Why does her staff often feel paralyzed? It's because Jamie's boss, VP of Client Services, finds fault every day with Jamie and her team members. He seems to go out of his way to criticize. When the VP is away, the group functions like a well-oiled machine. When he is there, they gossip, avoid tough problems, and try to make themselves invisible.

As a defensive strategy, Jamie visits her boss every morning to take a reading of his mood and pre-empt any explosions. She tells him first thing what she and her team accomplished the day before, what issues they face, and how they are handling them. Sometimes the strategy works, sometimes it doesn't and the explosions come anyway. The constant stomachache is the price Jamie pays for trying to figure out how to please this overly critical boss.

Most of us can take a little criticism from our bosses from time to time when we've messed up, or haven't quite done something right. It can be tremendously demotivating, however, when criticism seems to be the only type of feedback we get, and we don't receive recognition for our positive contributions.

Chances are your boss isn't intentionally trying to demotivate you. It's doubtful that he has some master plan to make your life miserable. More likely, she has fallen into the all-too-common management trap of looking for things that are wrong instead of things that are right. Of course, this particular behaviour is not unique to managers. Many parents, coaches and peers (perhaps even you and me), fall into this trap.

If you have to deal with overly critical behaviour, there's a technique worth trying. The next few times your boss criticizes you, follow this three-step process:

1. Apologize

2. Let your boss know that you'll correct the problem

3. Finish off with a comment that gently reminds her that you do, occasionally, get things right. For example:

"Gee, and here I thought you were coming over to tell me what a good job I did on that last project." Say it with a smile, then go about the business of fixing your mistake.

It may take a few repetitions, but your boss should eventually get the message that you might like some positive encouragement.

Now, here's the part for the really courageous and truthful among you. You can actually tell your boss what you want. If you don't say anything, don't expect your boss to read your mind, or to be aware of how the constant criticism affects you. Say something like:

"I do appreciate feedback. It helps me improve. In addition to criticism, I also appreciate hearing about what I do well. It helps me know what to keep doing."

While you can't control how your boss talks to you, you can control the quality of your own communication, and how you respond. Good luck.

About the Author

Nicki Weiss is an internationally recognized Certified Professional Sales Management Coach, Master Trainer, and workshop leader. Since 1992, Nicki has trained, certified, and/or coached more than 6,000 business executives, sales managers and salespeople.

Nicki guarantees increased sales performance when sales managers become better sales coaches. Sign up for her FREE monthly e-zine, Something for NothingTM, which has powerful tips and techniques for sales managers who are ready to make this transformation. Sign up at http://www.saleswise.ca You can email her at [email protected] or call 416-778-4145.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Advertising Specialty Institute

IMAGEN Brands Hires Liza Sachs to Sales Management Team
Advertising Specialty Institute
“We are delighted to welcome Liza to the IMAGEN Brands sales management team,” said Lisa LeMond, vice president of sales at IMAGEN Brands. “Her previous experience on both the supplier and distributor side provides a powerful perspective that will ...


Facility Executive Magazine

WeSuite 5.0 Sales Management Software
Facility Executive Magazine
WeSuite, a sales management software solution, is purpose built for technology product and service providers. Designed for sales teams of two to two thousand, it streamlines workflow; simplifies the creation of estimates, proposals, and contracts ...


Ancillary Insurance Carrier Renaissance Expands Sales Management Team
PRNewswire (press release)
15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Ancillary insurance carrier Renaissance Life & Health Insurance Company of America is expanding its sales management team with the addition of group insurance industry veteran John Feeney. With more than 30 years of sales ...

and more »

Saint Rose launches concentration in sales management
Hudson Valley 360
ALBANY – Recognizing the need for highly trained sales managers and sales representatives in the business world, The College of Saint Rose has become the only college or university in New York state to offer a program in sales. Beginning in January ...


Starbucks Management Talks Customer Service, Digital Marketing, and More
Motley Fool
The period was fueled by strong comparable store sales momentum, new store openings, and further growth in the company's loyalty program. To fully appreciate Starbucks' strong performance and management's plans to keep its business going strong, ...

and more »

The News Tribune

South Sound Business People
The News Tribune
With 26 years of experience in the dental industry Klavon has expertise in strategic account management, business planning and sales management. He received his bachelor's degree from Michigan State University. Previously he was field director manager, ...


halfwheel.com

Habanos SA Appoints New Control and Sales Management Director
halfwheel.com
Corporación Habanos, S.A., the Cuban cigar company, has appointed Alberto Dónar Cruz Rojas as the company's new control and sales management director, following resolution 127/2018 of the Minister of Agriculture. Null. According to a statement issued ...


Patch.com

42 Job Openings In Pasadena
Patch.com
Sales and marketing * Training * Development * Customer Service / Restaurant / Hospitality / Retail * Management * Sports / Team Environment Benefits: * Planning and involvement in charity events. Holiday Work Available - Customer ...


Motley Fool

Papa John's Franchisees Demand Management Do Something About Falling Sales
Motley Fool
The Papa John's Franchise Association (PJFA) has retained Robert Zarco, from the Miami litigation firm of Zarco, Einhorn, Salkowski and Brito with the goal of arresting "the ongoing decline in sales that began following Papa John's founder, John ...
Papa Murphy's hot, Papa John's notSeeking Alpha
Papa John's International, Inc. - PZZA - Stock Price Today - ZacksZacks
CLASS ACTION UPDATE for CBS, PZZA, PM and QRTEA: Levi & Korsinsky, LLP Reminds Investors of Class Actions ...GlobeNewswire
GlobeNewswire
all 74 news articles »

Forbes

UBS Asset Management Taps Alternative Data to Increase Alpha
Forbes
As an example, UBS is leveraging card payment information to monitor sales data against earnings estimates and potential share price impacts. These alternative data signals help asset managers minimize risk while ensuring the delivery of superior ...

Google News

When Its DUH? Time at Trade Show - 3 Little Words Save the Day

TIME, MONEY, HASSLE - You can make a sale on... Read More

The Art of Sales (And Tips On How To Manage Your Sales Team)

Selling. Cold calls, introductions, interviews, appointments, proposals, referrals, call cycles,... Read More

Hire A Six, To Consistently Produce Sales Success

For many years as a sales manager, I would only... Read More

It?s Time For A Sales Management Revolution

Are you dog tired because of the way you manage... Read More

Is Sales Process & CRM Stopping Sales?

Standard metrics and KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) are created usually... Read More

6 Steps to Avoid Losing Summer Sales

It's a fact - the online world dies down in... Read More

Why Performance-Based Recruiting Produces Top Sales Performers

Many recruiting ads and job descriptions include "knockout factors" that... Read More

Sales Plan? Whats a Sales Plan?

In the past, if you said the word "plan" to... Read More

How to Write a Business Plan Sales Section for a Mobile Service

We all agree one of the most important parts of... Read More

Franchise Sales; Recruiting of Laid Off Employees

Because of corporate downsizing, many people have been laid-off or... Read More

Discounting Your Way Into Sales Oblivion

I don't even like saying the word d---------g. I have... Read More

Generous Donor Refused (how qualified business slipped away)

Generous Donor RefusedPicture this. You are a fund development director... Read More

Leadership - How To Turn The Vision Into A Reality

Be clear about where you are now. Audit your strengths... Read More

How To Become A Better Sales Manager

YIPPEE! Kendra won, or should I say, "She was hired,"... Read More

8 Procedures to Take Control of Sales and Marketing

The Cash to Cash Cycle Part Three of SeriesWe're sprinting... Read More

Sales Tactics to Beat Your Competition

This month I want to share a success from a... Read More

4 Tips for the Summer Slowdown - How To Pick Up Sales

You may have heard about the "summer slowdown". You may... Read More

The Boss from Hell: Quick to Criticize, Slow to Praise

So you have a boss who dumps all over you... Read More

The Surest Way to Boost Sales

If you have a small business and you are looking... Read More

Small Business Marketing: Overtaking Your Competitors

Few businesses keep tabs on competitors, yet such knowledge can... Read More

8 Line Items of a Trade Show Budget

Budget Guidelines for Trade Show MarketingB'techa didn't know - Trade... Read More

All Small Businesses Need to Gather Community Intel

How well do you know your community? As business owners... Read More

Are Your Sales Meetings Boring?

Many sales meetings are boring and a waste of salespeople's... Read More

How Do I Manage Workplace Conflict?

Workplace ConflictConflict is an inevitable part of business life and... Read More

Make Time, Not Excuses

There are four primary activities that successful salespeople engage in... Read More