Do You Mind if Someone
Screams at You?
A headhunter was on the other end of the phone. He was looking for an assistant to a CEO/Owner for a small, but very successful business. Essentially, he wanted someone at his disposal night and day. That didn't seem like a huge deal. And then the next question came..."Do you mind if someone screams at you?" As soon as I could get past the sirens going off in my head, and visions of Dilbert comic strips, I replied, "Yes, that's not acceptable". The headhunter continued, "Well, he probably wouldn't call you names, but he's a pretty hard driving guy and he raises his voice a lot".
Yes, this is a true story, and it was my first conversation of the day today. It's been enough to amaze and amuse me all day. Somehow I thought the days of screaming bosses were buried with the days of managing by intimidation. I guess I was wrong! I can't help but wonder if this guy has even heard of all the work being done around emotional intelligence, or employee retention. Maybe he doesn't read.
Message to the Screaming Boss ...
Chances are, your employees have one foot out the door. They probably even spend a part of their working day reviewing emails and job postings at places like Monster.com.
You are missing out on significant amounts of information. Why? Because nobody wants to be "the one" to tell you. What you don't know can hurt you.
Every time you indulge in a screaming frenzy your employees spend time telling each other, talking about you, and maybe even looking for ways to push your buttons. After all, you've become the entertainment.
If your employees have conditioned themselves to tolerate and even disregard your screaming, they've probably learned to not take it personally. After all, your hissy fits are about YOU, your huge ego, your insecurities, and your lack of desire to create win-win, mutually beneficial relationships.
If your company is successful in spite of the way you treat your employees, just think about how much more successful you could be if your employees loved to come to work every day.
And finally, "What is your screaming costing you?" I'm talking about in terms of dollars and cents. Think in terms of unproductive employees, the way your employees treat each other and customers, turnover, health benefits, and maybe even some employee sabotage.
The Bottom Line is this ...
Even the military is undergoing a huge initiative to become more emotionally intelligent. The drill sergeants of tomorrow will be very different than the drill sergeants of yesterday.
What could be different for you and your business if you stopped screaming and started treating people with respect and dignity? It's simply a choice you know.
As the owner of Essential Connections, Lora Adrianse is a catalyst for clients who aspire to create dynamic business relationships with their colleagues and customers. She authors a free monthly newsletter, "Relating@Work". Go to her website to subscribe now! www.connectionscoach.com .
Many more articles in Communications in The CEO Refresher Archives