General discussion


Is it ever right to yell?

By kphayes710 ·
Recently I was in charge of a network installation project. I had a small team working for me and one of the members started distracting and "fooling" around not doing the work I had assigned to them. I raised my voice when I asked her to stop messing around and get back to work and some of the other members of the team pulled me aside afterwards. They told me I should appologize to the other member and that I had no right to "Yell" at her. I didn't see myself as yelling just being stern with her to get her to start working, so I didn't appologize. Am I wrong to have rose my voice with her and should I appologize for it? Is there ever an acceptable time to yell at an employee?

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You are right..

by maecuff In reply to well...

I've never been in the armed forces. of course, the corporate world is NOT the armed forces. My employees are not children. Perhaps people have their moments when they BEHAVE like children (yelling and screaming for instance), but that is the beauty of's unpredictable and inconsistant. And I am sooo glad that none of my people work for you.

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Let your words convey the message...

by General Failure In reply to No

I found that raising your voice or changing your tone, never ever increase the possibility of resolving conflict or the situation.

Choose your words carefully.

I a situation as discribed above, I would recommend that you take the associate aside, and explain calmly that he/she is wasting your and the team's time.. and if required, maybe go as far as mentioning that it can not be tolerated, and if the situation does not improve, remove the associate from the project. It shows that you are in control under pressure, but showing emotion of any kind in these situations only count against you.

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Agreed -- Use a different approach instead

by pete1978 In reply to No

You have multiple issues here. There is "discipline" type of yelling (where you might not even raise your voice). There is "raising your voice" type yelling that may have nothing to do with discipline (see your average football fan). And then, of course, there is the "raising your voice while administering discipline" type of yelling. Don't know which you are supposed to have done but there are answers for each.

Discipline type yelling

If you did this yelling in front of the employee's peers, yes, you should apologize. But not for the content of the yelling. Instead, only for your poor choice in not keeping the matter private. Discipline of any sort should be kept private. Unfortunately for you in this situation, other employees do not have a need-to-know when you discipline an employee.

As for the content of your yelling...if the employee was not on task, you not only needed to take action, but if you failed to take action, you yourself would be "not on task." after all, it is your job to see to it that the employees do their jobs.

But, as I stated before, this should all happen in private conversations, not in a public forum.

Raising your voice yelling

Try not actually yelling (just in case you did raise your voice.) A person may be very strong in the words they select without having to become louder. You do or should have positional authority. That should be sufficient to put force behind your words if you select your word carefully.

Becoming louder tends to indicate anger and that will reduce the respect you receive from employees -- even those you didn't yell at.

The raising your voice with administering discipline yelling -- see all of the above.

Overall ...

There are many books and online articles on leadership theories and methods. Not one that I've read advocates ever raising your voice (even when the employee is yelling at you). All of them discuss methods for influencing the employee to do their work. And then, of course, there is the last resort that gets the attention of every other employee. If the one continues to be off task, remove them from the situation (fire or transfer them). When they are no longer a part of the team because of being off task too often, the other employees will realize that you are serious and that should help influence them to be on task.

Good luck.

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Do you think it's acceptable

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Is it ever right to yell?

for an employee to yell at you. If you are 'allowed' to yell at them, then by default they are allowed to yell back. Yelling is an acceptable communication style as long as it goes both ways. If it's one way then how loud you talk will never be relevant, all the people you are failing to communicate with will treat you as a total wanker.

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Not A Peer Relationship

by Wayne M. In reply to Do you think it's accepta ...

I must disagree. A manager-staff relationship is not peer-to-peer. The rights given to the manager do not automatically carry over to the staff.

There are times where a manager must assert authority and assert it publicly. In these rare circumstances, I prefer a quiet but firm statement, and although I have avoided yelling so far in my career, I would not preclude my ever having to use this option.

A manager has larger set of rights and tools available to him than his staff does. With this, comes an added responsbility to use them wisely.

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Good for the goose

by mjd420nova In reply to Is it ever right to yell?

It is never right to "YELL" at anyone under your
supervision, first it gives them the right to yell back, and gives the others a very poor inpression of you. Take them aside, in your office, outside or anywhere out of the others
earshot and admonish them, but do not yell.
I once had a supervisor who would embellish the truth "LIE" to me in front other workers.
I asked to see him in his office and told him
that was not the proper way to do it. I told him that if he wanted to do that, that I would
call his bluff in front of the others and them he could see how he felt. One time he did it
again and I told him that it was BS in front of the others. Into the office we went, and he
apologized for what he said. He also was very
careful thereafter to admonish others in his office and not in the work area.

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Dressing down anyone in public

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Good for the goose

in front of their peers is always counter-productive. Even if you are completely correct, your are still going to **** them off. They aren't going to remeber what they did wrong, the way to avoid being wrong again or the consequences of being wrong. All they will remember is that you 'showed' them up in front of their peers, you might as well walk up and spit in their face.

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public apology

by LadyReader In reply to Dressing down anyone in p ...

I had a manager once who disagreed with an action I had taken, which I based on the information made available to me in written specs. He pulled that spec sheet out of my hand, dumped it in the garbage can, and angrily told me, in front of about 4 teammates, that I was all wrong, the spec sheet was all wrong, he was right. (He was right.)

I was rather taken aback and the next day requested private time with him in his office. When we met I explained why I had taken the action I had, told me I was offended by his public put-down and said I expected an apology. He apologized. I then told him I expected a public apology since he had embaressed me in public. It was all very cordial.

He agreed.... however, when he actually said something about it in public later that day, his remarks were watered down and so non-specifc that nobody there, except me, knew he WAS "apologizing". I let it drop, since I had to work with the guy.

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Well said. Same applies to chasting children.

by cln In reply to Dressing down anyone in p ...

We were supposed to have learned this in kindergarten.

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make that 'chastising'

by cln In reply to Well said. Same applies ...
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