The Effectiveness of Yelling

Are the kids underfoot getting to you already?

I was going through the lessons in Whole Life Overhaul. I ran across this one and thought it might be worth sharing.

Let’s talk about the effectiveness of YELLING.

We saw yesterday how your reaction to a problem affects everyone around you.

Everyday I see parents who do nothing but yell at their kids. Bosses who belittle their employees.

These people really have the best intentions. We all want our kids to be smart, responsible, clean, …. Well- perfect, right?

Bosses want the job done right, and on time, and under budget.

But yelling DOES NOT WORK. (sorry, didn’t mean to yell)

Many other parents consider me to be too lax. Of course, it’s the same parents who always tell me they wish their kids were more like mine. Ironic, isn’t it?

I rarely yell at Emma. When I do, it is very clear that it’s a big deal and she crossed the line.

I have certain standards that must be upheld. Homework must be done. Grades must be good. Dishes go in the dishwasher. Laundry goes in the hamper. You treat people with respect, and do what you say you are going to do.

When it is nice out, I encourage her to go out, as long as homework can be done by the time it’s time to hit the shower. She has to be in for dinner. I plan dinner every night, unless other plans have been made.

Outside of that, she can do pretty much what she wants. She can play video games, use the computer, talk on the phone, play her stereo, go outside, watch TV (which she rarely does), and eat candy.

So much freedom.

She’s on the honor roll.
She runs 6 discussion boards.
Her room is clean.
She comes to me when she has a problem, and she discusses her
friends problems with me.

But I’m still the parent. I don’t pacify her. If she gets in trouble, she pays the consequences. If she wants something
that I can’t afford, or I think is not appropriate, I tell her no.

I use basically the same methods in business. I figure that the people holding positions must have the required brains to be there. Not always true, but it’s more effective to think that way.

For employees, I set parameters and then give them the freedom to do their jobs.

One time, I promoted an admin from another department to be my assistant. She was used to every assignment being laid out, step-by step. She never really had to think about anything. She expected the same from me. She didn’t get it.

I would had her a job and expect that she would figure out what she needed to get the job done. I was there to help her when she got stuck, but she had to take initiative.

The transition took a little while. I refused to spoon-feed her. I couldn’t. We handled 48 states and over 100 regulatory agencies. She already really basically knew the procedures. That was one of the reasons she was promoted.

I’ll never forget the day the light bulb came on for her.

I gave her a pretty big assignment. She just looked at me and said, you just want me to do this.

I said, that’s right.

She said, I don’t have to come to you for approval of every little thing?

I said, only if you have a problem you can’t figure out.

Once she figured out that she had the freedom to think, and the respect that goes with the position that she had earned, she just blossomed. She was finally able to leave the admin mentality behind.

If you have been using negative reinforcement at home, or at work, don’t expect that things will turn around overnight. It will take people some time to get used to the new you. And it will take a lot of practice on your part. Be patient with yourself and others. And think before you speak.

Next week we will talk about some of the things you can expect from others while making this transition and how to deal with them without reverting back to your old ways. For now, start being aware of how you are treating others. Notice how often you use negative reinforcement.

Remove these words from your vocabulary-


How can you apply this lesson in your life today? Give people a little more credit. They might just surprise you!


Enjoy your day today.




a.k.a. – ‘Mother’




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