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Bully Boss Or Just A Tough Cookie?

by Jeff Thompson
August 2010

From Jeff Thompson's Enjoy Mediation Blog

Jeff Thompson

I came across this great article by Kathleen Schulweis posted at It details how managers should look internally and at themselves when there seems to be conflict with those who work under them.

The questions she suggests managers ask themselves I find comical in the sense I think we can all recall a time working for someone like that. The good news is now they can turn to Kathleen for help!

Do you feel frustrated and maybe even betrayed by team members who seem unwilling to participate?

Does their behavior leave you feeling isolated, and burdened with the responsibility of feeling like you have to do everything yourself?

Are you fed up with having to deal with insolent, unresponsive, defiant employees?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might want to consider the possibility that their behavior is simply a reaction to your own.

Some of the self-reflecting questions for managers:

1) Do your team members remain silent when you ask for feedback and suggestions?
2) Does yelling and screaming seem like the only effective way you can get them to do the work? 3) Do you feel isolated and misunderstood?

If you enjoy this snippet, read the whole article [here].


Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.

Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.

He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.

(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)

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