At the heart of any successful business are diligent and empowered people. As a business owner or manager, you are squarely responsible for running a profitable enterprise, but the hard fact is that most of your front line employees do not share your responsibility or your passion. They came to you solely because they needed a paycheck, they stay with you because you have a fair and challenging place to work and they work hard for you because they feel valued. This type of work environment will run like a spinning top. One emotional outburst by the manager in charge can send a top wobbling and eventually crashing to the ground.
Emotions are often based on a gut instinct and these instincts are highly likely to be wrong or unable to prove. When an emotionally-charged manager is wrong or cannot prove he or she is right, the balance of power will suddenly shift to the employee and trust is lost. Even IF you are right in what you suspect, the employee will never walk away from a confrontation thinking how smart you were that you figured out it out. No, the employee will walk away knowing that you were powerless in the entire situation. What you feel will make you weak-what you know will make you powerful.
Employees who do not live in fear will feel more empowered to do their job without insane amounts of oversight and second-guessing. You, the manager, have so much on your plate that it is imperative that your employees trust you with a single-sentence answer and trust that if they make a mistake, they are not going to be berated. Distrust and fear will paralyze a staff, making them unsure of themselves at every turn and checking with you for approval on every move they make. Who has time for that? If this is the environment you have created, you may as well send everyone home and do all of their jobs, as well as yours.
Employees who are corrected for errors in a fair and logical way are more likely to recover quickly, regroup effectively and will not repeat the error. Often when emotions are involved, people only remember the turmoil and not the point of the conversation. If an employee is offended or angered, the reaction is negative and potentially more damaging than the initial mistake they made.
Acting emotionally in front of your staff signals to them an allowance for emotional behavior, potentially exposing your customers to a volatile environment that they cannot trust and will not return to or recommend. Think of any time that you were a paying customer and a staff member or manager was publicly emotional on any level—for any founded or unfounded reason, faith goes out the window.
You are in charge of a business because of your intelligence, your ability to handle stress and your talent with running a profitable enterprise. We are all human and we all have emotions, but it is extremely damaging to the entire business, for any manager to react on emotion. You have a responsibility to act professionally, calm, and with purpose at all times and you set the standard for how your employees act and react. So, when you feel emotions are about to play too large a part in your next move, take a walk, find the facts, and you will prove time and again that there is a reason you are getting paid the big bucks.
June McCreight began her career in the hospitality industry as a housekeeper in 1996. In the years since, she has risen through the ranks, learning maintenance, front office, sales and revenue management, property management and district management, bench management and opening team management. She has trained hundreds of hoteliers and won many awards for her management successes. In 2011, June wrote and published, The Strangers in My Beds, a fictional novel based strictly on the strange events of her career in hotels. In 2014, June partnered with her father, a very accomplished software architect, and opened the business, Coba Enterprise Management, LLC with a very unique and specialized CMMS (Computer Maintenance Management System) software for hotels.