How to (not) energize the team?

positive energy
How can a leader create a positive energy and still energize the team even when he is not present or feeling hopeless, angry and demotivated?

I should mention that leading people is not a herding livestock as may be too often in many organizations.

Long ago I had a boss who did precisely that. On our regular staff meetings his “normal” manner was to yell at us. Whoever did not perform according to his way of thinking was immediately rebuked. Once, when we were all gathered together, he started with the account department manager and kept on with his offensive manners from “victim to victim”. Instead of helping to clear or solve the situations he kept accusing people of incompetency.  When it was my turn I stopped him by asking “Hey, we are not stock that you yell on us?”

to yellMy question provoked a complete silence and a big surprised shock on my boss’ face. In the moment he regained composure he began to yell even louder. I stood up saying that if he does not change the manner I am leaving the meeting. The answer to that was just another hit: “If you leave the meeting you do not need to return any more!” So I left. A big surprise and shock for others and even bigger for him. My coworkers were more afraid for me than I was while I was leaving the room. Not yet far down the corridor I heard my boss’s voice “Come back immediately!” I kept going to my office. The accountant manager was right behind me telling me to immediately return before I was fired. After a few thoughts I said “I would love to see on which grounds” and sat at my desk.

Nothing happened for a week when we had the next meeting. The yelling manner began and it was my turn again. The boss asked politely and I explained all that has been going on in the past week by stressing also the things that did not work correctly. We discussed the problems and made plans how to go from there on. The next staff member got the same treatment as all previous ones. And that became a normal practice at our meetings.

energize co-workersWas my boss’s way the right way to energize team members? Is this the way to lead and treat people? Think why people were waiting with accomplishments of the tasks when he was not present?

I’m sure this is not the way to lead and energize co-workers. A good manager or leader knows what hurts people and knows how to help them when in trouble. They do not accuse. They lead by example and virtue.

But there is one thing that remains in my thoughts “Why do people allow to be so treated?” Is it a fear to lose a job we do not even like, or is it deeply ingrained fear of somebody yelling at us like our parents did when we were growing up and we always somehow felt that we “deserved” such treatment? Is it something else?

I would be glad if you post comments of such issues.

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