Psyching out a bullying boss

Nov 17 2004 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Writing in today's Times, Rosalind Renshaw turns her attention to the vexed question of how to deal with a bullying boss.

According to David Cotton, a trainer and coach who specialises in behavioural change in individuals and companies, what’s needed is some clever psychology:

“Very often, bullying tactics are used not just to put the other person on the defensive but to make them come out fighting. Refuse to fight. Use a ‘fogging’ technique which means that you always agree with the boss first.

"For example, if the boss says to you that your paperwork is in a mess, reply: ‘Yes, I agree, it is a little messy. What specifically would you like me to do?’ In other words, pass the fight back to them. If you argue with someone, they will keep attacking. If you refuse to argue, they will go and play their game with someone else."

The Times | How to turn tables on bully bosses and workplace tyrants