Effective Leadership Tools – STOP YELLING!

August 25, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

Are you a Little League coach or a professional business executive?

Where is the research that says leaders who yell finish first? Is this a fact?

Why do so many people yell at their stupid, incompetent, immoral, unaccountable, non-strategic thinking staff? (Yeah, that one makes almost everyone want to yell!)

What does yelling at people do? Does it motivate them? Does it prove who is right and who is wrong? We do it to our kids because it was done to us, but does that make it effective? We often yell at ourselves because we are neurotic overachievers, but does that mean it will work for others? What is your goal when you yell at your staff – to punish, or to change behavior?

Yelling numbs people out, regresses them to their childhood, and narrows their vision. Yelling at people causes fear and turns them into low IQ order takers (who warrant even more yelling for THAT behavior). Yelling at people causes us to betray our core values and objectify others in order to beat them up. We rationalize that they deserved it, but really, we know better.

No one deserves to be yelled at, do they?

Why does yelling work for some athletes and not for others? Since people are essentially the same everywhere, we probably use the same logic in business, perhaps yelling at some staff and not at others.

Effective leaders don’t need to yell

The thing is, yelling actually doesn’t work; we just tell ourselves that it does. Most yelling is nothing more than projecting our own pain and hate. We give ourselves intellectual license to yell (like a football coach does), and we become emotionally-ungrounded, unskilled managers in the process. We can do better. Maybe there should be a standard or rule against yelling by managers. Do you want teachers to yell at your kids like we want coaches to? Do we want doctors to yell at their patients for eating poorly and not exercising? Why don’t we all turn into CNN guest analysts and spend our time yelling at “experts” with whom we disagree with. It does seem to attract viewers.

Lastly, does it really work when couple’s yell at each other? How many therapists recommend yelling as an effective tactic for dispute resolution?

The research is actually pretty overwhelming, whether from Positive Psychologists like Shawn Achor or from leadership gurus like Warren Bennis, positive reinforcement is a far stronger and more effective management tool than yelling and being negative.

It’s time to stop rationalizing that yelling works. It’s time to increase your sense of self-regard and inner peace by staying true to your core values of caring, respecting, and loving those you lead – to see yourself as the STEWARD that you are.

Instead of lashing out by yelling, start doing the inner work you need to do to transform your fear and frustration into humility and inspiration, by using your skills to offer feedback. Look for places where YOU are the issue. Get curious regarding what is driving your team’s behavior. Fire people, reassign them, get them trained, reduce their responsibility, coach them – but YELLING, it seems pretty archaic – tell me we are more evolved business leaders…

The best advice for couples that yell: STOP IT – take a break, reconvene when you find something you can appreciate in the other person, when you can see your part in the drama.

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Executive coach, top team facilitator, author and speaker. I work with individual leaders and their teams to help navigate personal and professional transitions and to increase leadership capacity and improve communication and relationship skills. I founded my coaching firm in 2001 following 12 years asa CEO. Check out more on me and my coaching process in my book "The Business of Wanting More: Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don't"

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