At this stage in history, employers accept that it is their duty to provide a physically safe work place, and they do this by establishing safety policies and intervening when employees fail to follow those policies. The time has now come for employers to accept their duty to provide a psychologically safe workplace – a place where employees can come to work without fear of being subjected to bullying behaviors.

Why don’t employers already do this? The popular literature would have you believe it's because they’re all evil and uncaring. Through our research and extensive work in the field of coaching abrasive leaders, we have found that more often than not employers don't know what to do. They are reluctant to fire a technically competent (but interpersonally incompetent) leader for a variety of reasons, including loss of valued expertise or revenue, or fear of litigation for terminating the individual. We’ve also found that many employers have confronted their abrasive leaders for unacceptable conduct and asked that they "ease up on others," but to no avail, because abrasive leaders characteristically deny that they are abrasive. Over and over again we encounter employers who feel hopeless and helpless.

Why are we telling you this? Because armed with the understanding that it is an employer’s responsibility to manage the problem of abrasive leadership, along with insights into why they hesitate to do this, you may be in a position to show them a better way. Our mission at the Boss Whispering Institute is to reduce suffering in the workplace caused by abrasive leaders, and we are training Boss Whisperers worldwide who can help employers solve the problem through specialized coaching for abrasive leaders. Instead of being written off as a "complainer," or as engaged in a "simple personality conflict" when you voice your distress, we’d like you to consider a different approach – one in which you are perceived not as a threat to the organization as you bring forward the issue of abrasive leadership, but as an ally. You (along with other concerned colleagues) could talk with your employer in a way that you will be perceived to be calm, rational, and concerned not only for your well-being, but also for the well-being of the organization.

How can you learn more about this approach?

  • First, we recommend you view Dr. Crawshaw’s webinar on “Dealing With the Abrasive Boss.” In it she shares her discoveries on why abrasive bosses behave badly, and who needs to do what to solve those behaviors. Click here to view the video.

Taming the
Abrasive Manager
  • Second, we recommend you read a chapter at no cost, written especially for those who work for, or with an abrasive leader entitled “Risky Business.” The chapter is taken from Taming the Abrasive Manager: How to End Unnecessary Roughness in The Workplace, written by the Institute’s founder, Dr. Laura Crawshaw. To read the chapter, click here. To purchase the book (and perhaps give a copy to your employer), click on the book cover .
  • Third, we recommend that you visit the website of The Boss Whispering Institute (, which was designed to show employers how to intervene and refer their abrasive leaders for specialized coaching. You may want to suggest this as a resource for your employer.


Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have. We want your suffering to end.