Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Bullies Denial Yelling

I am in management, and I admit that I scream at my employees when necessary. If I really lose it, I apologize later. My people understand me and work hard for me. Now some new young vice president has told me to tone it down. I've had a productive department for years, and I don't see why I should change.

Bosses who lose it with employees typically end up losing productivity, respect, and ultimately the employees themselves. There is simply no excuse for yelling at the employees.

It is very nice that you apologize after you really jump on them, but you are leaving out the essence of what makes an apology valid: given a similar situation down the road, you should not repeat the behavior. By screaming at your employees, apologizing, and then screaming again later, the apology is rather hollow.

Your people may indeed work hard for you, but there probably is a high degree of resentment and turmoil beneath the surface. At best, they are tolerating your style, rather than being motivated by it. Employees tend to be far more productive under an individual who is fair, respectful, trusting, and able to manage his department and his anger.

The good news is that the new vice president senses that you have some real strengths. He has sent you a message, and now the question is whether you have the strength to do anything about it.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!