The Screaming Manager
“When I’m out of the office, nothing gets done. Actually, that’s not true. Things get done but nothing gets done accurately. It makes me crazy that every time I return from a sales call or delivery or attending a seminar, I encounter problem after problem and find myself racing around correcting things. It takes up my time and I lose both my patience and my temper. But no matter how many times I show people what they are doing wrong, the problem persists.”
Those were the words one owner used when explaining his biggest sales challenges to me. At the beginning of his comments, he was calm. But by the end, his face was red and his voice was raised.
Have you ever encountered one of those situations where someone asks you your opinion and you weigh two choices: Be completely honest without regard to feelings or talk around the issue in the hopes the other person reads between the lines.
I would write down Main Street: “Have you considered the possibility that perhaps you are part of the problem?”
Silence and dead air.
“Do you remember that time when you were a child and you broke something in the dreaded, ‘Wait till your father gets home’ line was delivered by your mom. Do you recall how anxious that made you feel?
Later that day, Dad comes home and finds out what happened. Which response is more likely to change your behavior while still feeling safe enough to make mistakes in the future?
1. “YOU ARE SO CLUMSY! I WORK HARD FOR MY MONEY AND NOW HAVE TO REPLACE WHAT YOU’VE DESTROYED. I AM SO ANGRY WITH YOU???”
2. “Let’s talk about what happened, why it happened, and what you could do differently so that it doesn’t happen again.”
Anger is certainly justified when you are the boss. Orders are written up wrong. Jobs go bad. Deliveries are late. Sales reps disappear. Each time, you have a choice in how you react. Think through who you want to be and what kind of working environment you wish to create. Then, once that thought is in your head and only after you have considered the answer, speak.
Bill Farquharson can be reached at (781) 934-7036 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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