Should You Yell at Your Employees?

Loren Feldman of 21 Hats thinks one should never yell at your employees. We reserve judgement.

I’ll also say that I can’t remember the last time I caught one of my clients yelling at employees. But they’re on their best behavior when I’m around.

We say it depends on what the reason for the yelling was, the toughmindedness of the employees and what they expect from you as their leader.

Let’s start with your leadership style. We advocate being a situational leader, one that uses either authoritarian, coaching or situational leadership. We prefer situational leadership, because you can lead with the style the situation demands. Coaching might be preferred with younger employees who are more ‘fragile’ because they haven’t been in the work world long Or, you can be more harsh with veteran employees who know the right way something should be done. Lastly, there is a type of leader that yells all the time, possibly because he/she is passive aggressive and not confident of his/her leadership style. The Navy used to be full of them.

Personally, when I yelled at my employees, which was quite rare, they knew they screwed up and better fix the situation quickly. And, in the one case, I apologized to them, because I was tired and stressed, having just come back from a weeklong business trip and discovered some problems we caused with one of our large customers.

Secondly, examine your employees: have they been in their jobs a while, and should they have known better? Where there time pressures to complete a task? If you don’t often yell at them, they know that yelling is a special circumstance

As a leader, you have to control your emotions when you are in charge. But emotional intelligence is completely separate topic for another blog.