Patti's Advice on a Deceptive Boss

If you decide to confront your boss, click the link below before you do to get advice from Patti.
A friend of mine took time off to spend with her new baby. She had gotten permission from her boss and they had an agreement she would work from home and her job was secure. The first day back she was revived and email that her job as it was titled had been given to someone else and she was to work under him. She felt she needed to talk to her boss. If you are having a very difficult time with your boss and think they may be withholding information or lying to you and you know you need to talk to them be prepared.  Here are my recommendations plus an example of how to have a very direct conversation with a boss using my ERASER method for courageous conversations from one of my book. This will show you how to tell your boss your upset with him or her.
If you decide to confront your boss, “have a plan for what you’ll do and what your boss needs to do,” says Patti Wood, body language expert and speaker at Communication Dynamics Inc., in Atlanta. “Be prepared to go take action and follow through immediately.” However, she cautions that an unstable boss may make you uncomfortable or even present danger. In the latter case, she suggests finding a different method in a safe environment. If you are going to have a politically dangerous conversation you may wish to pull in a third party.
“A compulsive liar,” she says, “will continue to deny any evidence of deceit you (present). Be prepared to repeat your statements of evidence. Repeat your plan and … what (the person) must do.”
Don’t let tears or anger dissuade you from your course of action, Wood adds

The E.R.A.S.E.R. Method by Patti Wood from her book.

Write out your script as if your were saying it out loud to the person. Practice how you will say it in an even tone and ideally role play it out with someone and work through how you will handle anything they will say. This is a VERY strong message so make sure you can deal with the consequences. In this case that may mean looking for an new job. 

Exact        With exact terms, state the person’s behavior as it exists now.  Answer the following questions in your statement.  When did it happen? Where did it happen? Who was involved? How often has it happened? Don’t use generalizations such as always, never, every time.  Don’t guess at why they do what they do.

Example:  We talked  Three times before I took maternity leave about my job being secure and you agreed that it would be. I just received an email from you that you have given my job to Frank. (Be prepared to give specific dates that you conversed. If there is an email trail send it to your personal email outside of the corporate email system and print it out and bring it with you.)

Result       What is the concrete result of that behavior? What happens because they do or don’t do something?

Example:  Because you made an agreement to keep my job secure I worked at home with the knowledge and dedication that my job was secure. Now you have broken our agreement and want to reduce me to position with far less pay into a subordinate position and action effects my career with the company. 

Aware       Make the person aware of the emotion(s) the behavior arouses in you.  How do you feel in response to their current behavior?

Example:  I feel deeply and upset and more than a little surprised.

Switch       Give them a behavior to switch to.  What would you like them to do instead of their current behavior? Make sure it’s one small concrete replacement behavior.

Example:  I’d like know why you would do this without communicating with me and the steps you can take to restore my position.  

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at