QHow to deal with a patronizing but well meaning man? Pretend to hang on his every word or remain true to your character?

answered May 9th, 2013 by Janet Graham

I would love to know what true to your character means! I assume it means you would tell him he was being patronizing and to cut it out, without regard to the consequences. That is certainly a possible strategy to deal with the situation. In my 30 years on Bay Street, I encountered this situation more than once, most often in a client relationship. When a client acts in a patronizing manner, it makes it a lot tougher to call them on the behaviour. I made my boss aware of the situation and was asked if I wanted the account reassigned but I chose not to. The behaviour was more annoying than anything else so I decided to put up with it. I just read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. I doubt she would put up with patronizing behaviour – she makes the point that unless we call people out, change will not happen. I think this would be more plausible with a colleague rather than with a client.


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