One question that consistently pops in my head in listening to the podcasts is this:

OK, so that's how [b]not[/b] to behave if you're a manager / exec... but how should I react when someone senior [b]does it to me[/b]?

eg. I'm sure plenty of people have seen this kind of behaviour: having been given a short timeslot, you're kept waiting overtime, then ushered into the manager's office by an assistant. The manager is sitting at a desk which faces the door, there is no guest chair, the manager doesn't get up, doesn't offer to shake hands, doesn't smile, won't listen to what you've come about, and then dismissively terminates the conversation.

The overwhelming message seems to be: they've sent someone too junior in here; get out. I won't co-operate until I hear from someone whose title I respect.

This does go on, sadly, and I'm really curious if there are ways to take a positive from such encounters, or to handle them better. Am I missing some tricks in how to manage such a situation? eg. is it about getting the right introductions first? Knowing (or investigating) the person's reputation? Seeing such situations coming and simply avoiding them?

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

I'm not sure what you're asking.

If you're asking how to respond to rude or arrogant managers/people who outrank you, do so with grace. Never point out their error or clumsiness. Never respond with similar stupidity. Be polite even if it seems to fall on deaf ears, because it will stand you in good stead when others ARE watching... and they'll cheer when you take the high ground.

If you're talking about a specific instance about being in someone's office, I need some more data.

(Yes, sometimes role power goes to folks' heads. Let this not be you.)


cgibson's picture


I think you did just answer my question - I meant it very much in the general sense of:

"how to respond to rude or arrogant managers/people who outrank you"

... but failed to put it so concisely!


Ps. Can I add my voice to the chorus? You guys have opened up a whole new perspective on work and management for me, not to mention a shopping list of books. Halfway through 'Getting Things Done' as I type. :D