Wednesday, August 6, 2008

To Smile or Not to Smile

Donald Trump wrote in his blog this week that "a German scientist has proven that people forced to smile and take on-the-job insults suffer long-lasting stress that may harm their health". C'mon now. Is this really something that today's business leaders need a study to prove?

Any descent leader - at any level - should know that if someone is 'mentally abused' and forced to keep their feelings inside by masking them, they're going to be miserable. In order to be a successful leader, you must always be open to the feelings of your employees and counterparts. This is basic damage control. You wouldn't abuse your vehicle and expect it to consistently give you its best would you? Then why would you do that with a human-being - and a colleague at that.

Employees shouldn't need to be babied. They shouldn't need to have their hands held. And you surely shouldn't hold back from expressing your displeasure with someone. What you should do is watch the temper. Insulting and yelling does not cause motivation. It's just the opposite. Sure the person may then turn around and give you a better product. But how long do you think that's going to last? How long do you think they're going to last. I've known people, and I'm sure you have to, that have left great jobs at wonderful companies ONLY because of their leader. You'll find that most people quit their boss, not their job.

So take a deep breath and rethink your response the next time you want to tear into someone. You might just be saving their job - or their life.

No comments: