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Pachter's Pointers:
Business Etiquette Tips & Career Suggestions


9.14.2010

Be Direct: Stand Up for Yourself

A colleague wanted to know my opinion about a young woman who quit her job after she overheard her boss make a disparaging remark about her.

She had creatively resigned by sending an email to her boss and her 22 coworkers that contained a series of photographs where she held a dry eraser board with a different comment explaining her reasons for resigning.

The disparaging remark was given as a reason in one of the photographs. In another, she said that working with her boss had been a special h***. In others, she said that the boss had a temper, bad breath and spent a lot of time on the web doing non-work related activities.

Many people, including my colleague, thought she was very clever in her resignation approach.

I agree she was clever …and passive. She failed to act in her own best interest. She never told her boss that she was offended by his comment. She quit a good job without having another one.

Learning to say I’m offended by your comment can be difficult. Yet, using this assertive sentence provides the possibility of eliminating bad behavior in others, improving your relationship and feeling good about yourself.

Had she told her boss she was offended, it is feasible that he would have felt some remorse. He may have stopped making negative comments about her or may have looked at her differently because she confronted him directly. Her working relationship with him may have improved.

Of course, there was the chance that nothing she would have said would have made a difference. But, as I discuss in my book The Power of Positive Confrontation, what did she have to lose by trying? Unfortunately, she’ll never know. She quit her job before she could find out.
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