The Fine Art Of Yelling
Yell wisely and at your own risk
I know what you?re thinking ?You should never yell at your employees.? However, I imagine if I polled your employees and asked ?Has your Supervisor ever yelled at you, a least one would say ?yes.? If you?re going to do it, then do it properly. - Consider this continuing education for those who yell and initiation for those who don't.
Yelling is not for everyone, Coach Bill Belichek included. This is a skill that must be learned and used sparingly. Vince Lombardi, Bill Parcels were/are masters at it - their records speak for themselves. To be effective your team must know without a doubt that you have their best interest at heart.
Yelling is a dark, yet essential management skill that is very under rated and misunderstood. I have used it many times in my career to salvage unproductive weeks and months. I found it to be very motivational and useful in ?waking-up? my team and displaying seriousness. HR may have a different take on this, so tread lightly, but tread.
Before you use this technique your employees need to know you care. If you are a new manager recently assigned to an existing unit, I don?t recommend this for you. You need to have communicated care and concern for the team prior, otherwise yelling will backfire.
You need to build a close, supportive relationship. They must know that you have their best interest at heart. Demonstrate this by helping them to close sales and giving them sales tips. If they have aspirations of becoming a leader, coach them.
They must also believe you are a person of integrity. Amongst the worst things you can do as a leader are lying and not keeping your word. This is the fastest way to distance yourself from your team. Being honest not only builds trust, but it brings them closer to you.
If your team considers you a tyrant, STOP HERE. This tool is not for you!
Public flogging is not the recommended course, however all rules are made to be broken - if only occasionally. If you have open communication and routinely share intimate business details with your team, it will not be out of character when in a meeting you begin yelling. This is an emphatic and sincere form communication. You will get their attention in a strong way. Yelling is much more effective if used sparingly and your point is logical.
You may get some backlash from the individual or HR. If so apologize, but focus on the behaviors that lead you to yell. This allows you to demonstrate care while focusing on your issue.
?I?m sorry I yelled at you during the meeting. I just need you to understand how important it is that we follow up with each customer. When I see you repeatedly ignoring my request, and I see sales decreasing .... It makes me angry. All I want is for you to improve. I didn?t mean to embarrass you.?
Let me define yelling
I should really call it pseudo acting. You are acting out your sincere response to disappointing results or behaviors. Acting because the form of yelling that I purporting is controlled and not erratic or angry. It is more a demonstration of tough love. When you are angry and upset and out of control, this is not the time for you to yell! It?s time for you to take a walk.
Interestingly, You can !YELL! by whispering. I have on ocassion, talked very angrily - talking in my lowest voice. Almost demanding that they listen and demonstrating that the results were so poor that "I am restraining myself," by talking low. Your main objective is to communicate passion and focus for your cause - which is "achieving awesome business results."
(I always tell people that the difference between a spanking and abuse is your attitude and emotion while administering the discipline. I suggest not disciplining any child out of anger. The anger takes away the social teaching aspect of your discipline and your self control. My apologies to those who disagree with spanking children.)
How do you act angry?
This may confuse matters, but here we go. To act angry you have to actually be or have been angry very recently. Something must have really disappointed you. The indiscretion should have happened very, very recently. Within the week, but ideally within 2 days. I say actually angry because this is the only way for you to communicate your sincerity. Part of the point of yelling is to communicate your sincere, extreme emotions! If you do not come across as sincere you will not be believable and the yelling would have been pointless.
Remember you can also yell by talking in a low voice. The look of dismay on your face makes the point as loudly as your voice can.
If used in a meeting, the yelling must come at the beginning of the meeting. This will make it most effective and allows you to end your meeting on a motivational high note.
In meetings call attention to individual performance. But try not to single out individuals or attack them - this pulls them out of the team. (Ocassionally you may want to publicly flog - do so only ocassionaly). Make a strong effort to maintain the team spirit and your groups oneness.
There are however instances where yelling should be directed at an individual during a meeting:
1. You have a long term employee, with whom you have a good relationship; and this person is slacking off.
2. Your units results are suffering because of 1 or 2 people.
3. Your star performer isn?t performing to their standards.
Yelling must follow an indiscretion by an individual or the team, otherwise you are always yelling and it loses effect. Counselling can be done as often as you like (counseling - having a serious conversation).
Do not insult people. You are a jerk is an insult. Phrases like this are never acceptable.
The only curses you can use are ?dam, hell and sh-it? (Check your HR guidelines you may not be allowed to curse)
You can use sh-it as an exclamation but you should not say ?you are full of sh-it? this is an insult.
Curses you cannot use, ever! Never use any racial slur, the word bi-tch, or motherfu-cker. In certain rare instances for effect you may use fu-ck as an exclamation.
Never get right up in someones face, this is confrontational, very disrespectful and useless.
Any gesture is fine, except gestures that are curses. Point sparingly, and it will have greater impact.
Throwing things is perfectly fine. As long you are not throwing at someone or someone can get hurt. Don?t throw things you don?t want to break. I have kicked garbage cans, thrown pens and slammed down clipboards - this is all acceptable.
Remember your main of objective is to communicate "THIS IS A SERIOUS MATTER. Yelling is less loud talking, and more of emphatic communicating.
Copyright 2005 - Darryl Gee, madmanager.com
About the Author: Darryl Gee has 18 years of sales and management experience. He shares his entrepreneurial and corporate management expertise on his website http://www.madmanager.com and the madmanager message board at http://www.madmanager.com/forum.