Working against yourselfTed Blackwater ▼ | Saturday March 29, 2014 4:00AM ET
There are many managers around the world and exactly the same number of leadership styles. One style in particular, yelling at employees, may result in an irreparable damage for both the company and its employees.
Soft skills are very valuable tool in managing people, so valuable that we dare to say without them there is no successful manager. A manager may know the core job inside out, but without knowledge how to deal with people and bring their best to the surface, nobody can succeed in the long run.
If you ask any top manager what's her/his recipe for a success, you'll get different answers from each of them. One relies on 20-hour working day, another won't change in the office until 9AM and will leave at 5PM sharp, one is "alone at the top," another has a team of advisers comparable to the president of the state's, while another...
You get the picture: Every manager has a unique style but they all agree on one thing: People are giving their best when you care about them and show that. Then, and only then, you may expect good, great, and spectacular results.
Now, does yelling belong to "I care for my people" category? Contrary to some beliefs, it does not. No matter how tense the situation in the office may be, how dangerous is the current market situation for the company, or how bad your employees are - yelling is not the answer.
When someone yells at the employees that doesn't make her/him a better manager. Yelling doesn't mean that a leader is great, capable, successful... Yelling means that the leader a) doesn't care for the people at all and/or b) is scared because he doesn't know his job. It's that simple.
In the first case, it's about a ruthless person who cares only for yourself, and don't give a damn for the people in the company. That manager's main reason for yelling is to prove that he's the boss and the whole word should know that you he's a boss. Now, if there are letter "CEO" on his business card, that means others already know he's the boss so yelling is not necessary. It just shows that he doesn't respect people who are doing their job.
If a manager is scared because he doesn't know what to do, yelling may come naturally. We all yell when we are afraid, that's normal, but leaders must control themselves. If a leader knows deep inside that he is not up to the job, he can summon a team of advisers, ask employees for an advice, and chat with other managers. If he doesn't know today what to do, he can learn and know tomorrow. With no yelling.
But let's stop talk about managers, take a look at their employees. Imagine for moment that the job is perfectly done after yelling. The question is: What do you think, how an employee feels? How she deals with the stress the manager caused her? What the consequences will be after weeks, months and years of constant yelling?
The result can't be anything else but deep frustration and even health problems caused by stress. Not clear yet? Well, add a lawsuit for bullying and you'll get the picture. If this is not the worst scenario, this one is - employees who fear their bosses tend to keep valuable information for themselves and are afraid to offer new ideas. Nobody wins.
If the leader creates a peaceful working environment with mutual respect, miracles can be achieved. Every manager should create a "Hello, boss!" office, not "Oh, no, here he comes again..." situation. Managers are not dictators, they are leaders, and leaders should inspire other to do their best, to go further every day, to achieve what they thought they can't do. And all of that can't be done under constant stress.
Leaders must show their employees that they are in charge but also humble enough to admit that they sometimes can be wrong. It encourages people to give their best and both sides profit from that. ■
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