Imagine if your 20-something daughter comes home for a family dinner and tells you that her boss (who you knew to be about your age) is in the habit of slamming things down and yelling at her in anger, what would your advice be?
But what if you are also an angry boss who participates in behavior like this towards women in your workplace? If the person you were yelling at was also your daughter, would you find the same value in your anger or your actions?
Protector or Personnel Issue?
“Take it to Human Resources,” is the commonly voiced solution to the problem.
“But Dad the CEO is sitting right there when my manager is going off on me?”
This isn’t a made up scenario. I have heard about this kind of behavior so many times that I am no longer astonished by it. But the frequency of this complaint and the fact that so many CEO’s are happy to sit back and watch employees yelling at each other is of grave concern.
Many complainants think… “I’m the only woman in the group, perhaps the CEO believes that if I am going to make it in the organization’s leadership then I simply need to ‘toughen up’ and take it. After all, Charlie yells at all of his people. Everyone knows that.”
Would you advise your daughter to stick it out or get out?
Is it ever okay to yell at someone in the workplace? Sure, frustration can be very real, but how does that justify shouting at someone?
In Front Of Customers:
I watched a woman being screamed at by her boss from across her desk in a hotel sales office a few months ago. My jaw dropped as her manager used the “f-bomb” and waved a folder in her face.
I went to the front desk of the hotel to talk to the manager about how such a public display of inappropriate behavior had to be unacceptable. Again, “If that were your daughter being treated that way in her workplace by her boss what would you tell her?” No matter how big the mistake, what I witnessed was simply unacceptable.
I’ve had many heartbreaking encounters where I’ve been told, “But I need this job as I am the sole support for my family.” This is the reason that many women simply stick it out and don’t deal with being treated badly.
Be Ready to “Lean Out:”
If you have been subject to abuse in the workplace then understand the following…
Being in a healthy work culture is an essential component for your well being. Avoid falling prey to what some have “normalized” and empower yourself with these four steps…
FOUR STEPS FOR SELF EMPOWERMENT:
1. Keep your resume in tip-top shape so you can be ready to leave if you need to.
2. Have the conversation with your parents about their work experience. Mothers would probably tell their daughters to get out of situations like being yelled at in the presence of the CEO ASAP (I know I would). Some fathers might recognize the behavior and consider their own motives if they do such a thing.
3. Know what your organization’s process is for reporting bad behavior by talking to HR.
4. Draw the line. Valuing yourself is a top priority.
Work Environment Matters:
Total personal accountability for success at work includes considering the work environment you choose to be in. To paraphrase, and slightly alter the Serenity Prayer…
“Consider accepting the things you cannot change when it does not devalue or demoralize you. Have the courage to face the things you can change and address situations that are not acceptable. And have the wisdom to know the difference between that which you can change and that which you cannot.”