A manager berates and threatens a junior employee for always reporting late for work. He uses a few choice words that do not sit well with the employee. At the next morning meeting, the junior employee goes ballistic and accuses managers of letting power get to their heads. He complains of how some managers speak to employees in whatever way they feel like, as if the company belongs to their fathers. He ends his rant with a warning; “Continue calling us stupid or foolish and see how we sort you out when we meet outside of work.”
What you will notice from the preceding paragraph is that both the manager and the junior employee had a grievance against each other. The manager had a grievance against the employee’s unacceptable behavior of always coming in late for work. The employee was aggrieved by the manager’s disrespectful and intimidating way of dealing with his offense. Both believed their actions would help in eliminating the unacceptable behavior from the other.
Every society and organization has a code of ethical conduct that governs the behaviour of it’s members. There is also procedure that prescribes legal and professional action to take against anyone accused of behaving or proved to have behaved against the dictates of the code of conduct. This procedure is the only accepted way to handle matters and resolve disputes. Any other route you take to resolve issues, outside laid down procedure will prove to be ineffective and dangerous. It only opens you up to possible litigation, complaints or accusations by the very individuals accused of breaking rules.
The angry manager risked being accused of verbal abuse and, failing to fit in a modern work environment where employees are to be treated with respect. He should have disciplined the employee according to what policy guided. That junior employee also should should have ironed things out with his boss in a professional manner. The threat of violence and his promise to sort managers out could easily work against him in court or during a disciplinary hearing.
Now, the failure to manage is understood. It is driven by the fear of consequences if the situation is managed in a professional and legal way. The manager understood that a formal disciplinary process would put the employee on a dismissal path. His angry screams and threats were a way of saving the employee’s job while making him see the seriousness of his actions. He forgot that disciplinary action was also a way to motivate behavioral change.
Are you are frustrated with an employee, a superior, a spouse, or a life situation? Ask yourself if you have exhausted all the recommended ways of dealing with your problems. Have you done your part? Have you followed the correct and legal way of addressing your grievance? Frustrations are usually because someone deviated from legal processes of dealing with issues.
Screaming and complaining are a very ineffective way of handling issues. Following professional or legal procedure is the only effective way to manage. Mediation, or the professional equivalent are also legal ways of resolving matters.
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2 thoughts on “Do Not Scream. Manage!”
2 wrongs never make a right.
There are better ways for the manager to express his grievance than shouting. It’s unprofessional and unethical.
And that’s what prompted the employee to respond that way which is also wrong.
We have to always find better ways to express ourselves so that we make our point without hurting others.
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True we have to find better ways to express ourselves. Those better ways are always available. The problem is that we’re too focused on our own impulsive ways of handling issues.
Thanks for reading