I Could Be a Bully

Your Career Coach I Could Be a Bully Dear Michele, I just had my performance review and was told that I’m opinionated and that people don’t like working with me. What’s up with that? I have a lot of friends at work, although I don’t socialize with them at lunch or after work. Sure, I […]

Your Career Coach

I Could Be a Bully

Dear Michele,

I just had my performance review and was told that I’m opinionated and that people don’t like working with me. What’s up with that? I have a lot of friends at work, although I don’t socialize with them at lunch or after work. Sure, I have strong opinions and am not shy about voicing them, but people usually see how right I am and adopt my plan. I don’t think I’m a bully. I’m just smart and generally right. What do you think?

–Velvet Hammer

Dear Velvet,


How nice of you to ask me what I think, rather than telling me what I think! Thank you! Listen up: You’ve been given feedback in your performance review that there’s a problem. So there’s a problem. Sure, you could say that your supervisor is biased, never liked you, blah, blah, blah. Your supervisor is the supervisor. Take the feedback to heart and begin to observe your own behavior. Are you so committed to being right and appearing smart that you discount other people? What would happen if you accepted the idea that sometimes other people are right? Could that shift your approach and make you a better listener and someone other folks would like to work with? If the answer is yes, then take an index card and write “Other people are often right” on it, and keep it in your pocket. Refer to it frequently. Over time, you will change your way of being with other people and overcome your bullying tendencies.


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