One study shows that anger works sometimes.
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3 min read
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If you really want to motivate your employees, you should be encouraging, positive, optimistic, and appreciative. If that doesn't work, maybe you should yell at them.
I am not joking. It seems that yelling at people can sometimes lead to better results. At least that's the result of a study on basketball coaches conducted last year by the University of California, Berkeley Professor Emeritus Barry Staw, and his team of researchers, and published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
The team found that the more negative the better when it comes to halftime speeches in the locker room. The more negative, the more a team prevailed against its opponents. "That was true even when the team was ahead at halftime," says Staw. "Instead of saying," You're doing great, keep it up ", it's better to say," I don't care if you got 10 points, you can play better than that. "
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More than 50 high school and college basketball coaches participated (some reluctantly) over 304 games, allowing researchers to record their halftime speeches in the locker room. Their performance was rated on their emotions – from "satisfied" to "disgusted". Sure, it's a bit subjective. But you can't argue with the results.
These results clearly showed a "strong and clear relationship" between a negative half-time speech and higher scores in the second half. But there was a limit. In the case of extremely negative speeches, the performances actually decreased. So there is a line.
The researchers in this study were from the Haas Business School in Berkeley, and their findings are relevant to any manager in any size company. These conclusions: In some cases, and without going too far, being negative – even shouting – can be a powerful motivational tool.
So, should you start yelling at your people for better performance? Perhaps. But sure you don't want to do it too often, or you will likely minimize the effects. You don't want to be abusive, inappropriate, rude, or abusive. You don't want to go so far that people are really upset. But when applied at the right time and with the right balance between anger and emotion, showing your frustration and dressing up every now and then can be an effective way to improve a work team's results.
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"Our results don't give executives a license to be idiot," says Staw. “However, if you have a very important project or merger that needs to be done over the weekend, negative emotions can be a very useful arrow in your quiver to get more performance. "