I’ve been getting a lot of e-mail asking if I knew a more acceptable manner in which to verbally abuse your co-workers. It’s a topic i’ve done extensive thinking on. In today’s post, I’d like to address some of my findings.
While yelling is a highly effective action when it comes to create that climate of fear (of you) that is ideal for personal business success, sadly, a stigma has gotten attached to it. The manager or boss who uses verbal abuse to get his or her employees to do what they need to do, does it for one reason–because it works.
There are a couple of things about yelling as a form of motivation that stand out for me.
1) It’s been proven time and again that employees need constant encouragement and micro-managing to make sure they stay on task–and there is nothing better than a good yelling to keep them producing. And let’s not forget that–love it or hate it–nothing says “successful businessman” like wearing a suit, and yelling at another person.
2) Yelling is an oft-used tool for businessmen, and to take it off the table, puts all business leaders in a compromised position at the very least. You can’t very well just ask an employee to “hurry it up a bit” and expect to get any sort of traction.
So today, I’d like to offer an alternative strategy for yelling at your co-workers. A way to get your direct reports and co-workers on task effectively–without being judged as a tyrant everyone will eventually come to resent and then write things about on the walls of the corporate washroom for everyone to see and snicker at repeatedly. (Eventually resulting in a handful of unsavory nicknames.)
To be clear, I’m not proposing we stop yelling at our co-workers to get them back on the stick. I’m proposing that we still yell at them, we just apologize to them after we yell at them by telling them that we’re having vague “problems at home” as an excuse for “all the yelling”.
Not only will you get the results–and God-like rush–that comes from berating a co-worker, but you’ll be able to gain empathy for why you’re “doing all the yelling”. Leaving you free to continue keeping the workplace in a state of fear.
Instead of being seen as a tyrant who doesn’t care about his employees you’ll be seen as a guy who needs compassion and understanding, even as he informs you that your job can easily be done by a refurbished sex robot at half your salary.
In the end, your workers are getting back on task, you get to keep yelling, and–because they feel sorry for you–you get to do it again and again.