An issue that both employees and bosses have to deal with is personal problems. Everyone has them at some time or other. Maybe it’s fighting with your partner or family. Maybe you are having financial problems or health issues. Some problems are frustrating but relatively small and of a short duration. Other problems can be debilitating and seem to drag on forever. Whether small or large, problems can affect the way we act towards others. Who hasn’t snapped at someone more because you were in a bad mood rather than because of something they have actually done? Family and friends may cut us some slack if we do that to them but doing it at work can cause lasting problems.
As understandable as it is, the office is no place to bring your problems. Everyone else there has their own problems. They don’t need you dumping on them and adding to those problems. I believe I’ve said this before in a previous post but I’ll say it again. Other people are not your emotional whipping boys. Since this blog is aimed at younger people you may not understand what that means.
It’s an old English phrase. During that time disciplining a child was often done with a birch branch that was trimmed of all the little branches. It was sort of like a riding whip. When a prince was a young child no one was allowed to discipline him. It wasn’t appropriate for someone to beat royalty. Instead another child would be whipped in his place while the prince watched. That’s what a whipping boy was. In current times an example would be when an employee is mad at his spouse and then snaps at a co-worker because he is in a bad mood. He is figuratively “whipping” someone else instead of the person who caused the issues. Well, at least who he feels caused the issues.
It’s even worse when a boss brings his or her emotional problems to work. When you take your temper out on an employee you are being a bully. The power in the section is yours. Your employees are at a disadvantage. They can snap back at a co-worker who snaps at them but they are afraid to do defend themselves when a boss unfairly snaps at them. Did you get that? They’re AFRAID. Your people should not have to be afraid but fear is exactly what they feel. They want to be able to defend themselves but can’t afford to lose their job over it.
When we feel helpless to protect ourselves we start getting angry. That anger will eventually translate into people filing complaints against you, maybe even a lawsuit if what you do is bad enough. But even if it’s doesn’t get to that point it will cost you their respect. They will talk. Others will hear what a bad leader you are. It will eventually make it’s way up to management. Even if it doesn’t cost you your job it will more than likely cost you promotions.
Being a professional at all times is key. It applies to everyone. We all work to accomplish something, a paycheck, self-satisfaction, a sense of worth, a love of the particular field we work in. There are many reasons why we are there. You need to remember your goals and not throw everything away on childish tantrums.