What are you supposed to do when your boss yells at you? Just pause! That’s the word from Steven Dinkin, president of the National Conflict Resolution Center. He says that rage-a-holic managers are running on adrenaline, and are trying to get a reaction from you – so they can unload all their stress and feel superior.
It’s kind of like a bully who provokes a weakling to feel dominant. That bully is looking to make the weakling cry. But if you pause for about half a minute before you say anything, that’ll automatically calm them down, and they’ll snap out of attack mode. Then, when you do talk, summarize what they said – that sends the message that you’re listening. And ask them, “What can we do to avoid this situation again?” That’ll end the conversation on a productive note.
Now, if you work for a screamer, know this: Studies show that people who work for bosses that yell are less motivated and productive. You may feel rattled after an altercation with the boss – and that feeling is real. That’s because “verbal aggression” literally affects our brain – our memory doesn’t function as well. As a result, employees have more trouble following instructions, and even performing basic tasks, like operating a computer! That’s according to the Journal of Applied Psychology.
But the days of screaming bosses may be over. That’s because managers now know that yelling at employees drives them away, rather than motivating them to do better. Also, now that we live in the world of You Tube – bosses are afraid their tirade will end up going viral, or trigger a harassment lawsuit!