“Shola needs you”, Yetunde, Shola’s
secretary spoke into the intercom. As Sheila walked to Shola’s office, she had already guessed why she was being summoned yet her heart beat could not slow
down, it doubled with every step. No staff has adapted to Shola’s
verbal assault and Sheila was no exception.
surprised that a task as simple as concluding on a deal could become a
colossal failure in your hands, Shola began. But sir you
are aware that I offered Mr Julius the lowest rate available in the industry, Sheila interjected. Do I need to show you what you should have done to get
that business? It’s totally unacceptable that you allowed this deal to slip through your hands; I’m concluding that you are inept to complete an assigned
task. You are intellectually lazy; in fact deficient in your thinking. If you
lacked the ability to manage this prospect, you should have spoken out? I
honestly doubt your competency. Winning businesses is our core responsibility
in CSD and you are grossly deficient in it. Your commitment to this company is questionable …
tighten the knots in her stomach. After a while, Sheila allowed her mind to wander. She stared admiringly at every cars that
parked or drove off (Shola’s office had a good view of the parking of lot). This was her best form of escape whenever Shola summoned her for an
episode of abuse. I am asking you a question! Shola shouted, pounding his desk with his fist. This shook Sheila out of her
reverie. Sorry sir, she responded. Is this how you intended to meet
your target? No sir, Sheila responded with a subdued voice.
reprimanding; he was in the habit of verbally attacking anyone that displeased
him. The “wise ones” among his direct reports had learnt to ignore
this unprofessional approach at addressing his subordinates. Most of his direct
reports were usually teary eyed after such sessions, while others transferred
their anger to other innocent and ignorant colleagues. This affected the team’s productivity as no cordial relationship existed between him and his staff. A good number of the staff cowered in fear
at the thought of approaching Shola for anything.
about Shola despite the fact that he was an amiable person whenever things go well. As Sheila walked away, she smiled at her suppose offence –
“rejection of proposal and loss of business”. This attitude of
berating people was an ongoing cycle that left most of the staff that worked
with Shola grumbling and low in self-esteem. Sheila resolved to ask
for a transfer to another department as she could not put on with the constant
a “high target” driven workplace where verbal abuse is
dished out in tons when the “high and mighty” targets are not met. If you have the
responsibility of leading people, “do it as unto the Lord”. Seek to
add value and not destroy the direct reports that work with you. If you are a
subordinate to a verbally abusive supervisor /boss, always
reaffirm yourself and give your best to every assign tasked. Let the supposedly discomfort be the stepping stone to better performance. If your boss pretends not to see and appreciate your efforts, someone out there within the organization is watching. And some day, a call will be made in your favour.
The road will not be smooth always, but don’t be afraid, buckle up and take on the challenges. You’ve got what it takes to succeed.
Resigning or seeking for a transfer may not always be a solution.