The way we communicate to the people we lead determines not only the effectiveness of the message, but the effectiveness of the response.
One of the biggest deterrents to effective leadership is yelling. And it’s way too common. Manzoni and Barsoux report in their book, The Set-up to Fail Syndrome, that “42% of office workers work in environments where yelling and verbal abuse happen frequently.” (p. 12) That’s in the office environment! I would guess that in a factory environment, or restaurant environment or construction environment that statistic would be much much higher.
Whatever your cause may be for yelling it’s not effective. It may seem effective, because if you yell at someone, they most likely will put their head down and do whatever you’ve asked them (or demanded) they do. But you’ve also created a boat-load of ill will with that person or people. And that ill-will that be imbedded in the heart of that person, and once the damage has been done, it’s hard to undo it.
If you’re a yeller, your people are hearing your voice, but ignoring your message. They may be shaking their heads up and down, yes, but they’ve tuned you out.
Effective leaders communicate in such a way that they communicate respect. Their tone of voice, their demeanor and facial expressions all communicate respect. They ask questions, wait to hear answers, listen with interest, and deliver encouragement all the while talking about expectations and outcomes.
Who would you rather follow? Someone who speaks to you in a respectful tone of voice, or someone who is gruff, or yells? The answer is obvious.