Dealing with an Angry Boss

by Nov 10, 2023

In the workplace, dealing with an angry boss is not uncommon. They might get upset for a moment or be consistently frustrated. It can be tough to handle, but if you figure out why it’s happening and find good ways to deal with it, you can make the work situation better.

It’s like sailing through rough waters at work when your boss is upset. Maybe they’re stressed or always seem annoyed. But instead of feeling stuck, you can grab the steering wheel and steer things in a better direction. Take a moment to understand why your boss is upset, like too much work or personal problems. Once you get that, you can find ways to deal with it. It’s a bit like turning stormy seas into a smoother ride at work. Communication, staying cool, and taking care of yourself are the tools you need to navigate this workplace sea.


Let’s explore the reasons behind an angry boss and how to deal with them.


Understanding the Anger:

Before diving into coping mechanisms, it’s essential to recognize that anger in the workplace can stem from various sources. Stress, unrealistic expectations, and personal issues can all contribute to a boss’s frustration. Rather than taking it personally, consider the broader context and potential external factors affecting their mood.


Effective Communication:

One of the first steps in dealing with an angry boss is open and honest communication. Schedule a private meeting to discuss concerns, seeking clarification on expectations and performance. Approach the conversation with a solution-oriented mindset, showing your commitment to resolving any issues that may be contributing to the anger.


Maintain Professionalism:

In the face of anger, maintaining professionalism is key. Avoid reacting emotionally or defensively, as this can escalate the situation. Instead, focus on staying composed and addressing the specific issues at hand. Demonstrating resilience and maturity can help diffuse tension and rebuild trust.


Seek Feedback:

Proactively seeking feedback from your boss can be a powerful tool for improvement. By understanding their expectations and addressing any areas of concern, you show a willingness to learn and grow. This not only helps in defusing their anger but also contributes to your professional development.


Mindful Responses:

When faced with an angry boss, choosing your responses carefully is crucial. Avoid escalating the situation with confrontational language or defensive arguments. Instead, respond mindfully, acknowledging their concerns and expressing a commitment to finding solutions. A calm and collected approach can often de-escalate tension.



Dealing with an angry boss can take a toll on your well-being. It’s essential to prioritize self-care during such challenging times. Whether it’s taking short breaks, practicing mindfulness, or seeking support from colleagues, maintaining your mental and emotional health is crucial for navigating the storm.


Know When to Seek Help:

If the anger from your boss becomes excessive or abusive, it’s important to know when to seek help. Human resources or a supervisor higher up in the hierarchy can provide assistance and mediate the situation. Everyone deserves a healthy and respectful work environment, and there are channels in place to address any concerns.


Navigating the challenges of an angry boss requires a combination of understanding, communication, and resilience. By approaching the situation with a level head, seeking solutions, and prioritizing self-care, you can weather the storm and foster a more positive and constructive work environment. Remember, it’s not about avoiding conflict but finding constructive ways to address and resolve it.


Feel free to reach out for support and training. As consultants and trainers committed to cultivating positive work environments, we comprehend the complexities of handling an irate boss. Hence, we provide tailored coaching and training initiatives to empower employees and leaders in confidently and professionally navigating such challenging circumstances.

Contact us to discover how we can assist you in managing a challenging relationship with your supervisor and fostering a more wholesome workplace atmosphere. Approach challenging scenarios with assurance and professionalism, contributing to the cultivation of a more favorable work environment for all.

Civility is the platform for organizational success—it is absolutely necessary for an organization to reach its goals. Download our Ebook on Seeking Civility to learn more on how to create a workplace free of bullying and abusive conduct.


About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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