Illustration by allhailshadow
“Hold it up, hold it up,” shouted my obnoxious teammate. I was merely dribbling the ball down the court, yet he found it imperative to scream this phrase over and over again. Being the recipient of his unceasing yelps, I lost it.
In my heated frustration I snapped back, “hold it up, hold it up,” I continue, “I HEARD YOU THE FIRST TIME!!!!”
It only got worst from here. I was so flustered by my teammate’s obnoxious shouting that I ended up getting the ball stolen. I lost all focus. Just after this happened, he looks over to me and says, “that’s why I told you to hold it up – see what happened?”
In my response, I take one long look at him and say, “you should be proud of yourself.”
I take responsibility for this fumble. I must develop myself to the point that the ignorance of a teammate has no influence over my performance. That day will come. But this is not the question being begged here.
Did my teammate really believe he was helping the team win by shouting at me like that? I can only assume yes. The great irony however, is by aggravating me, he totally disarmed me. His shouting caused me to be distracted and pissed. He made me a worse player, not a better one. He contributed to the team losing; the exact opposite of what he set out to do.
Unfortunately, our course of action doesn’t always contribute to the results we seek. This is sometimes because we become so preoccupied with venting our anger, that getting good results goes on the back burner. Whether it be in the work place, or on the basketball court – it’s always preferable to encourage our colleagues over castigating them. By inciting our teammates or coworkers we are guaranteed that their productivity and focus will be compromised. When their productivity is compromised – everyone loses – including our business.
Dale Carnegie, the author of “How to Win Friends & Influence People” asked Charles Schwab why he was one of the first men in America to be paid a salary of over a million dollars a year (in 1921) for his position. Schwab said it was largely due to his ability to deal with people.
Mr. Carnegie goes on by asking him what his secret to dealing with people was – that made him so amazingly successful.
Mr. Schwab responsded:
“I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people,” said Schwab, “the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. [Emphasis mine]
There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticism from supervisors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.”
This lesson should be ingrained into all our psyches. That is, if we want our businesses (or any human endeavor) to reach its full potential.
Does yelling at our teammates or co-workers enhance their performance? Does it encourage them to do well? Does it inspire them? Does it accomplish any of these things? No.
Does it diminish their productivity? Yes.
If any share of your accomplishment is predicated on how well those around you do, make sure they’re in a climate conducive to reaching their full potential. Putting your ego in the back seat, and dealing with your teammates and co-workers in ways that promotes their best is guaranteed to catapult your dreams into vistas yet uncharted.