RCT Blog


I was facilitating a leadership class a few weeks ago, and at some point one of the participants mentioned that he had been “berated” by his senior manager. BERATED. I don’t know what circumstances precipitated this encounter with his senior manager. It really doesn’t matter.

What vision comes to your mind when you hear the word “BERATED?” Raised voice, shaking finger in your face, inappropriate language, emotions out of control, humiliation. Doesn’t sound like the actions of a leader to me.

Does it bring back memories?

If you have been on the receiving end of a "berating", I feel for you. Hopefully that experience has taught you what NOT to do as a leader.

For the employee, the end result of a berating tirade is often anger, fear, humiliation, trust-busting, and creates an environment of blame and CYA. Long term, employees are afraid to tell you the truth. Why? Because they don't want to be on the receiving end of your tirade. Odds are, they probably won't be telling you much of anything in the days or weeks to come.

Next time you think about “berating” someone who works for you,STOP! THINK! What do you want to communicate? What’s the best way to do it? How can you communicate your message and be respectful to your employee? How does this become a learning experience, and not an opportunity to verbally beat someone up?

Pamela Canning, CSC 

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