Venting After A Stressful Encounter

The meeting grew tense by the minute. The CEO’s voice raised to decibels that sounded more like screeching. He pounded the desk for emphasis on a point he was desperately trying to get across. The five members of the executive, sat silently, each wishing they did not have to there to listen to the same accusations about their unimpressive performance over the quarter.

The team had grown accustomed to the behavior. Although, a bright bunch, they had shut-off years ago. There was more blame dispensed at meetings than actual commendations for work that surpassed targets. The executives grew weary of his tirades and literally locked-off. Disengaged and unwilling to put in more than was necessary to keep the engines of the enterprise turning, the company hobbled along. It was clear that it would cease to exist in the near future, if an intervention was not considered and urgently.

The meeting dragged on for hours with each executive taking turns at bathroom trips. “Good grief, man, I don’t think I can take any more hits from that guy! I feel the need to scream!”

This script could be applied to any industry with the main character being the CEO from the abyss and the disengaged executives who are tasked with championing initiatives that will provide improved products and services to meet the clients’ needs. Stress levels among workers in organizations that display severe dysfunction, if not addressed appropriately and with strategic intent, will climb and cripple performance.

In a recent discussion, I glibly suggested that companies need to install a scream room. But the more I thought about it, I was convinced of its importance to reducing stress, especially after a heated confrontation. The room would have to of course be outfitted with specifications including sound proofing the environment. Obviously the more resourced companies would be in a position to add a scream room to the varied amenities they provide for employees. Venting one’s anger is an essential ingredient to maintaining a balanced perspective.

Don’t you feel better after a good cry, a run/walk in the park, listening to inspiring music or meditation? Many of us do. Beyond the screams though, is the opportunity to address the dysfunctional behaviors that threaten the survival of a company. A disengaged workforce will not produce at expected levels. Clocking in and completing the required hours will be an automatic response, but performing above the grid, is likely to be near absent.

There is need for more research in how to engage employees in a manner that allows them to excel. As part of a team, the desirable skill sets required to meet productive ends should be encouraged. Leaders who fail to grasp the correlation between their behaviors and the response they receive from those they lead, are courting disaster.

Step back, appraise the big picture and create the environment necessary to implement the desired changes. Sometimes that is the first step to reigniting passion in the workplace.

Copyright Suzette Henry-Campbell 2013

Image retrieved from Google Images, November 25, 2013


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