Most employees are already Unhappy, so it doesn’t take much effort to nudge them into Insecurity, as well. Here’s a quick reminder of how easy it is to keep your ungrateful subordinates in their place: under your control.**
- Keep Them Guessing. Tell them nothing that’s not essential to their tiny little jobs. First, it’s none of their business. Second, they’re probably too stupid to understand important business concepts like you do.
- Watch Them Like a Hawk. Show them why they can’t be Trusted. Monitor break times to the second. Check their bags for smuggled company pens. When you spot phone numbers of friends or family on the call log, highlight those and send an invoice; better still, dock their pay.
- Isolation is Your Best Offense. When you see coworkers talking, tell them that sharing ANY company information is cause for termination. Don’t communicate with other departments; if no one knows what you do, it will be easier to act hurt or outraged when your budget gets cut.
- Leverage Fear to Keep Your Calendar Clear. To minimize useless meetings, loudly slam things around when you’re in your office alone. If you don’t have walls, put on your headset and pretend you are screaming on conference calls. Avoid eye contact with underlings – it creates false hope that you are approachable.
- Remind Them Why You’re the Boss. When you know the answer to a problem, say it quickly so you can demonstrate how smart you are. If you don’t know the answer, sit back and let them solve it, then point out your excellent facilitation skills.
Remember, It’s ALL about the Title: Who needs to learn leadership skills when fear, intimidation, and the exercise of raw power can get the job done with less effort? Tell your people to get happy on their own time, not yours.
**P.S. I did NOT have to make up any of this. Each of these bad behaviors came from real life. Hopefully none of them work for you!
Jim Smith, PCC, is The Executive Happiness Coach®. He is an international speaker, executive and life coach, and author. He provides his clients with inspiration and practical tools to live a happier life and build more positive work cultures. He is the author of Happiness At The Speed of Life: 13 Powerful Strategies for Finding Happiness at Home and On The Job, and has touched the lives of over 10,000 people worldwide through his work on Positive Emotion and Leadership. You can connect with Jim at theexecutivehappinesscoach.com.