So I’m sitting here watching Bravo TV (half watching because I’m actually working). Kell on Earth is a new show that they’ve unleashed upon the viewing public. The gist of it is she’s some fashion publicist/event planner/organizer or whatever kind of company. They chronicle her life and business a la Bravo style. In half listening I heard some things that really disturbed me. Now, I’m all for maintaining control in your company. Nobody wants to have employees who walk all over them and treat them like crap. I’ve seen this in the real world and in reality TV. It’s not pretty. But nobody wants to work for someone who’s an utter bitch. Excuse the language but I am on a truth and transparency mission this year.

I’ve done my time in the corporate world where I’ve experienced bosses who were absolute terrors. I don’t know if it was bad attitude, poor upbringing or overloaded stressful workloads. But I’ve always maintained that NOTHING gives anyone free reign to unload all their bullshit on their employees or subordinates. I have short tolerance for rudeness so I never did well in an environment where managers and bosses felt they could talk down to me just because they had a title and a little more responsibility. You may be dealing with a boss (man or woman) who is just a complete bitch. No matter how well you work, they always have some nasty, mean negative thing to say. Or how about the ones who yell at their subordinates? I know we’re all encountered this one on occasion. See, here’s the thing. If you are on delivery end of such bad office behavior, stop and think. Do you want people talking to YOU like that? Would you speak to someone on the street like that? How about your boss? What about your spouse? People often feel they have a right to say what they want to whom they want when they want. There’s a time and place (and a manner) you express yourself. Unloading on your staff is not only inappropriate, but could also get you punched in the mouth after working hours should you come across the wrong person who will not put up with such nonsense.

I always go by the old saying treat others as you want them to treat you. Step away from the title and the office, and you put your pants on one leg at a time. Long gone are the days where the higher up your position is, the meaner you need to be. You can’t manage or lead by terrorizing. It doesn’t facilitate productivity. In fact it breeds resentment. I’m not advocating coming in to work every day like you’re the next coming of Mary Poppins. Just realize that your actions (and words) have consequences. Effective leaders do well because they establish a rapport with their staff. People want to follow leaders who lead with the intention to educate and collaborate. It’s OK to be bothered by something or someone, but pull that person to the side and speak with them in private and with the dignity and respect they deserve.

If you’re a victim of the Office Terrorist, try scheduling a one on one meeting and express to them how it feels to be treated in that manner. Now, I understand that in reality someone who is intent on making others miserable will not hear your message, and there’s a real possibility that you may experience retaliation. But if you don’t start standing up for yourself, you give the other person license to figuratively spit on you. You have to set the boundaries and let people know what you absolutely will not accept. To be fair, the person may not be aware of how they’re treating people or how it affects them. But sometimes it takes putting everything on the table to open their eyes. If you are dealing with someone who is absolutely not interested in adjusting their attitude, perhaps THEIR superiors need to step in.

There is no excuse for treating your staff poorly. Even in the most dire of circumstances, a supervisor/boss/manager needs to keep the morale of the team a top priority. You can manage firmly without being nasty. Productivity affects performance and your company’s bottom line. Remember that the next time you feel the need to go Cruella deVille on your staff.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham