Management Tip of the Day: Stop the yelling matches

Fri May 6, 2011 10:15am EDT
 
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BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - Increasing decibel levels is usually not the key to effective communications, but many managers still rely on dialing up "virtual volume" when dealing with subordinates or peers, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"You don't have to raise your voice to appear to be yelling. There are many ways to inaudibly be aggressive: sending nasty emails, enlisting others to exert pressure, and escalating disputes to your boss, to name a few.

Yelling, even when done quietly, betrays your frustration and anger, and certainly doesn't encourage real understanding or acceptance of your message.

If you find yourself in a silent shouting match, restart and reframe the discussion. Take a step back and ask the other party to as well.

Work backwards by asking questions like: What are our shared goals? What do we want to accomplish? From this defused spot, you have a much better chance of making progress."

-Today's management tip was adapted from "Turn Down the Volume on Yelling!" by Ron Ashkenas.

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<p>Traders work in the Crude &amp; Natural Gas Options pit at the New York Mercantile Exchange June 10, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>