Whenever you do something wrong, this embarrassing boss loves to point it out in front of as many people as possible. He (she) seemingly gives no thought to the fact that he’s embarrassing you in front of your customers or colleagues.
If you find yourself having to deal with a boss like this, try this three step approach:
After the incident, find a quiet moment to meet with your boss privately, then:
a. Apologize for your mistake (again) ie: “I’m really sorry for messing up that purchase order.”
b. Reaffirm to him that quality is important to you, ie: “I really do want to do a good job, and I hate it when I do things like that.”
c. Ask him if, in future, he would discuss these things with you in private. ie: “I know I shouldn’t, boss, but I find myself getting really defensive when you bring up my mistakes in front of other people. On the off chance that I mess up again, would it be possible for you to tell me in private?”
This strategy won’t always work with all bosses, of course. Some people just seem to enjoy the power that comes from embarrassing people in public. Don’t assume, however, that this is his motivation. You may be surprised.
One key thing to remember is that, if you do try this approach, you absolutely should not do it in front of other people. Your boss may perceive you as trying to publicly deflect from the issue of your mistake. And worse – you will have put him in a position where he will feel the need to defend himself in front of an audience – and there is no way he is going to let you win!