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Dawn Rosenberg McKay

Don't Disrespect Your Boss

By June 23, 2010

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If you hate your boss or vehemently disagree with his or her decisions, quit your job ... or keep quiet. Those are your options. Well, there's one more option — you can discuss your viewpoint with your boss. What you should not do is be disrespectful toward him or her in a very public way. General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, perhaps learned there are better ways to handle disagreements with your boss than broadcasting them to a national magazine.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, General McChrystal criticized the U.S. administration. He was subsequently called to the White House to meet with President Obama, who questioned the general's judgment in making those remarks. This afternoon, the president announced that McChrystal would no longer be overseeing the war in Afghanistan and would be replaced by General David Petraeus.

Since you probably aren't a public figure, it's unlikely that something you say about your boss will wind up in a newspaper or magazine interview. However, in these days of "I have a thought. I'll tweet it (or post it as my status on Facebook or blog about it)" it isn't out of the realm of possibilities that your ill feelings about your boss could end up in a fairly public place. Before you start commenting that everyone has a right to say whatever they want, I'll say that I agree with that, but the question isn't really "Can you say it?" It's "should you." I'm a strong believer in freedom of speech, but I also strongly believe in having good judgment and I don't think publicly showing disrespect for your boss demonstrates that you have it. So, before you head online to tell all your friends and followers what you think about your boss, take a few moments to think about the possible ramifications of doing so.

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