Harassment 101 – part II. How to make your boss stop harassing you without appealing to formal measures (a)

The first thing you need you need to do to stop him is to break the cycle of harassment.
Start with letting it out in the open. The next time you feel intimidated dig your feet firmly into the ground and in a stable and loud voice while looking him straight in the eyes serve him this phrase:

“THIS IS CROSSING THE LINE AND I DON’T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH IT.” And stick to it. Do not fumble with anything, do not go back to say sorry, and most of all DO NOT SMILE.

If he starts mocking and asking what’s gotten into you, turn your back leave the room. If he follows and asks for more explanations ignore him just like as if he wasn’t there and then ask him a completely different question about work. He will get the message that you are firm on your ground but still interested in doing a good job professionally.

If he insists and insists and insists on you telling him what’s you won’t put up with anymore then make sure you have a list ready with cold facts about his behaviour and make sure you deliver the facts in private – no point in making him more angry than he is, you are trying to defuse the situation not make it worse.

For example: yesterday you shouted at me, the day before you asked me to give you that brief in front of everybody when you already knew I didn’t have it, this morning you asked me to start working on that urgent report and to give it to you by lunch time, then you summoned me to the stakeholders meeting for the entire day and then sent me an email with the CEO in copy criticising me for not working on the report, and so on and so forth. I do not accept this behaviour anymore and I ask you to stop doing it so that we can work together efficiently. 

There is an optional step here. You can also tell him how this behaviour is making you feel before asking him to stop it. But as I said, this is optional. Chances are he doesn’t care how you feel otherwise he would have shown more delicacy and not harassed you in the first place. And talking about emotions in front of him in a charged state might make more sensible and make you lose the grip on the moment.

To be continued …

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