You observed your boss in a situation where you felt his behaviour was wrong.
You feel that it’s not the right behaviour for a leader in his position.
And you know the person receiving it didn’t feel it was right by their reaction to it.
But what should you do about it?
Well, let’s run through the options.
Brush It Under the Carpet
You can ignore your boss’s behaviour, but how does that make you feel? Can you live with that?
What impact do you think it has on the person who experienced the behaviour? And will it continue if not corrected?
What’s the impact on those who also observed this behaviour? Will they think that this is acceptable and replicate it in the future? And worse what’s the impact on those in the future who receive and observe it from them.
Find Others to Help
Your company may have other options available for you to use, i.e. anonymous channels or HR. Check out what your company offers.
Tell Him It’s Wrong
You can speak with your boss about the situation you’ve observed and tell him that you feel his behaviour was wrong.
Depending on your relationship, he may react positively or maybe defensive.
If he becomes defensive, his fight/flight side of the brain will kick in, and he won’t be thinking rationally at this point.
Discover It for Himself
Talk to your boss about the situation you observed and the reaction you saw from the person who received it.
Ask him what he thinks about the situation.
He may ask you what you think. Don’t give him the easy way out.
Challenge him to really understand this for himself.
Reaffirm that you would like to understand his opinion.
If he confirms that he believes his behaviour was wrong, he is more likely to adjust it.
What Option Will You Take?
What option you take is about how comfortable you feel taking that action.
Personally, I believe in challenging the behaviour of leaders in the organisation head-on.
I also believe that I get fired for doing the right thing for an organisation and those who work there, then this is an organisation that doesn’t deserve me working for them.
But that’s me, what about you?
To Sum Up
Left unchallenged, poor behaviour has a spiral impact on the organisation as upcoming leaders start to replicate this behaviour.
Helping people discover for themselves that their behaviour is wrong is a powerful catalyst for them to make this change.
For those receiving this behaviour, it impacts their performance at work and, in some cases, their home life as they take the emotional impact of this behaviour home with them. Unacceptable.