So a friend of mine is at work on Friday doing her job when her boss walks in and starts yelling and screaming at her over something that occurred at their office. I didn’t ask what happened or think “I bet it was deserved”, instead I instantly thought, “That’s crap!” What sort of “boss” are you being if you yell and scream at your employees? What are you teaching your employees with that type of behavior? What sort of leadership are you displaying?
And then I started thinking back to numerous situations I’ve encountered in my working life.
I once had a manager call me “idiot”, while yelling at me, for doing something another manager instructed me to do and I was doing it exactly as instructed.
I have seen a person at a former job who would yell, scream, and curse at sales people whenever this person had to deal with them.
While working at a college I had a professor call me pretty much every swear word he could lace together. And it ended up being over a mistake he had made.
After running through several more of these types of situations a thought hit me:
If you, had to deal with you, would you put up with you?
Let me say that again.
Had to deal with you.
Would you put up with you?
I ask this question because in EACH AND EVERYONE of the situations above, had the roles been reversed, the original conductor of the unprofessional act would NOT have put up with the same treatment.
In the case of the manager I’m sure I would have been fired if I resorted to calling him names and yelling (I was almost fired anyway when I informed him in as level a voice as I could that I would not allow him to call me names no matter his position).
In the case of the coworker dealing with sales people, that coworker would not even talk to a sales person if they thought the sales person was being the SLIGHTEST bit rude.
In the case of the professor, I know that he complained to his department chair at the slightest insult or perceived insult from anyone on campus.
So my question for you, is if you would not put up with similar actions as those you carry out against another, why are you committing those acts? Why do you believe that you can act unprofessional, be disrespectful, curse, yell, and scream, but you get highly agitated when someone treats you the same way?
Why not perform a mental mirror test to your actions before you commit them. What I mean by this is before you send off that email, make that phone call, or march into another’s office envision yourself looking into a mirror and your intended actions coming straight back to you. How would you react to what you’re intending on doing or saying or typing?
We can continue to go through life believing that how we act and what we say to others doesn’t matter, but that’s just not true. I hope that each of us for just one day performs the mental mirror test and realize there’s a better way.