Yelling – The Ultimate Litmus Test

 Is there yelling at your company? I once was “involved” with a business where the owners yelled at each other in meetings, in the hallways, and behind closed doors. By the way, when you yell behind closed doors the doors might as well be open.


Everyone can hear you.


Is this acceptable behaviour? In a small business aren’t we allowed to get a little passionate from time to time? I guess in order to answer you would have to tell me this…Is it ok to yell in your marriage? What about at your kids? Does yelling convey health in either of these arenas? I doubt it. In fact yelling is the ultimate threshold we cross. It’s the total loss of reason and care for others in exchange for emotion and a sense of relief from our frustration.


My son the other day did something to his sister that, well – just set me off. I do believe the words expressed were “evil” and “disappointment.” Now what was going on in this imperfect leader?


A total loss of control.


You see, I think that as spouses, parents and business leaders we strive for control. We crave it. Hunger for it. And like when our stomach grumbles to remind us to eat…our volume increases to the point of yelling to indicate a lack of control. While there was justifiable disappointment in my son’s choices… 


My yelling was based on my need to control not his need to improve.


So, what is the imperfect insight?

Yelling always reveals my insecurity

and never the severity of the issue we face.

So what’s the alternative? You’ve heard of “be hard on the issues and soft on the people”, right? Well I’d agree, but here is the key. We can’t be soft on the people until we admit our desire for control and the way it makes us act externally. Vulnerability turns down the volume. It lets the other person hear the issues and not your insecurities. Yelling? What’s wrong with YOU?