Monday, October 1, 2007

Yell--it ensures you won't communicate

Yelling--the ever so effective conflict resolution. Where do people get this idea?

Remember all those times your boss yelled? Did it work? Or just until the boss left the room? What happened to productivity? Turnover? Profitability? Employee theft?

So why do people get the idea that yelling themselves effectively addresses anything?

I can think of only one answer--without any valid points to present, or without the patience to present them, yelling is expedient. It replaces the unwanted conversation.

Granted, I can think of appropriate times when speedy communication takes precedence over discussion. I can imagine a shop teacher, for example, yelling, "Put that nail gun down NOW!" But usually, it's the opposite of communication.

Even yelling at a dog isn't effective--the dog just learns (and quickly) to avoid you (and don't confuse this with shooing it away), making up its own rules and changing strategy.

Perhaps this just reflects my personality, but over the years I've had relationships end this way. She screams at me over the phone. I don't do yelling. I hangup. She's furious or sorry, but my passion has chilled. I like peace and cooperation.

This, of course, has always been my problem. I like to work somewhat independently, but as part of a team. Unfortunately, I live in a world where the thinking seems hardwired toward "every man for himself." Counterproductive, since we spend so much of our time competing instead of accomplishing, but things are what they are. So I usually work alone.

I'm no saint. I've lost my patience and yelled at times--and always regreted it later, as I achieved nothing by it. When I do, people freeze--partly because as a classically trained wind musician, I have quite a bit of lung power and vocal projection, and partly because I'm normally soft spoken, so the yell is a shock. And people just learned to avoid me, cooperation over.



Mike French said...

When I first did my blog, I didn't know what I was doing and did a lot of it in capitals, people told me to STOP SHOUTING!

You're right though, shouting works in cases like "STOP" to my kids just before they run out onto the road, but not in communicating anything more than a command to people. (Like QUICK MARCH or someting)

But we are all human and it is okay to loose it sometimes !


KristynMarie said...

I think, for me, yelling is a way to get out my frustration. I end up saying the same thing over and over, try to re-phrase, and finally resort to yelling out of pure and utter frustration!

I don't like to yell. It's not, as you have pointed out, a good way to communicate. However, I'm somewhat high strung so yelling is inevitably going to happen. All I can do is try to keep my cool next time. Most of the time I only loose my cool and yell at those I'm closest too. You'll never find me yelling at a stranger, for instance. Speaks to my comfort level. I have to be very comfortable to be that abrupt.

Karen said...

I couldn't agree more. Speaking as a parent, yelling is completely, and totally, ineffective - if done consistently. Yelling should be reserved for those REALLY naughty moments.

And trust me, when I yell, people take notice. *grin*

Write From Karen