Your boss urgently needs to make personal changes – how far can you go without offending?

Question:

My boss is the ultimate great guy, but doesn’t take care of himself. He doesn’t exercise enough or eat right and he’s at least 60 pounds overweight. I know this isn’t my problem, but I’ve watched his weight steadily climb in the last six months. I don’t want to offend him, but he’s of an age where if he doesn’t take care of himself, he won’t be around to enjoy life 10 years from now. How do I get through to him without offending him? Or do I just keep my mouth shut?

Answer:

Your boss probably realizes he has a problem. What you need to realize is how very hard it is to turn around a 60-pound weight problem and the degree to which he might feel judged by you, particularly as his exercise and eating behaviors are personal and outside normal workplace boundaries.

So tread softly and non-judgmentally, realizing your boss may indeed be at a tipping point, where changing his ways has become exponentially harder. When a person has 60 pounds of excess weight, exercise becomes harder, and food, normally a comfort, becomes a trap.

So offer to come alongside him, by inviting him on long walks or into the gym with you. Don’t tell him it’s for his own good; simply say it’s something you enjoy and thought he might too.

©Dr. Lynne Curry is author of ”Beating the Workplace Bully” and ”Solutions” as well as owner of the management/HR consulting/training firm The Growth Company Inc. Follow her on Twitter @lynnecury10 or at http://www.bullywhisperer.com.

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