"I'm not a shouter...
It's not really my style."
I heard that from a client this week, and the longer I've sat with it, the more cringe-worthy I find the notion that anyone could call shouting a "style" of leadership, management or basic human communication.
Shouting is not a leadership style. It's a bad habit. Fortunately, it's also a changeable habit.If you're a leader or HR team member who needs to confront a leader or employee about shouting, don't procrastinate. Don't tell yourself you've got bigger fish to fry, or the he/she "was just having a bad day." Every moment that passes between a leader or manager shouting, and the situation being fully addressed is a moment where your team members:
It's expensive to hire new people. Shouting demotivates and dehumanizes your team members... even the ones who weren't directly shouted at. You may motivate your employee to accomplish the task you shouted about.. but you also motivated them to look for a different job, and you certainly did not motivate them to do the things that will actually help your company grow exponentially (like pitch really bold ideas, give feedback about potential process improvements, and look for ways to go above and beyond.)
So for all of these reasons, you absolutely CANNOT excuse shouting on the part of any person on your team - regardless of job title or how many sales he or she brings in.
Assuming you're now convinced that you must address someone who shouts, here are three pieces of advice to help you, aside from the Best Practice for Offering Difficult Feedback, which I consider Level 0 in handling confrontation effectively:
Confronting someone who shouts is additionally scary, because we naturally want to avoid being shouted at! Just remember that even the most personal and difficult feedback can be received with grace and respect when it is offered with equal parts: honesty, clarity and kindness. Also, I've had many such conversations in my line of work, and I can tell you that even people who shout sincerely want to grow and become better leaders! Shouting is not indicative of someone who is inherently evil (despite what people say at the water cooler.)
Your scene partner (this employee/co-worker who shouted) is more than their shouting behavior, but that doesn't give them a free pass to continue belittling others on your team, and passively sabotaging the success of your company.
Best of luck to you! If you follow my advice and confront someone at work, please reach out to me and let me know how it went! I love hearing the various success stories of how these methods are empowering people to have really tough conversations -- you've got this!