A manager at a CVS store, here in the Chicagoland area, was charged today with a misdemeanor battery for hitting an employee who wanted to leave early. Upon reading this story any reasonable person would ask, WTH? But I’m willing to bet that managers are likely involved in this type of behavior more than is reported in the news.
Do employees make managers mad? And do employees know how to push the right buttons? The answer to those questions are unequivocally yes and yes. They absolutely do. However, being a good leader means diffusing the situation before it escalates to the point of a physical altercation. As a matter of fact, it’s in the best interest of the leader to deescalate the situation because two very bad things can happen as a result. 1) They go to jail (you’d want to make sure someone has bail money before this happens) or 2) the employee hits back, or worse.
I know many would say to be a good leader means not ever having to deal with this issue, but the truth is, when you’re dealing with people, situations can become complex. And an employee just might say or do something that makes you want to knock them silly. But if you want to display good leadership, then you’ll have to check self first, and ask the questions, “Why am I so angry?” “If this employee insists on leaving before their shift is over, what are my options?” “Am I letting self get in the way of misunderstanding the employee?”
A manager who is able to stop and ask these questions is exercising their emotional intelligence or EQ. Meaning, they are going through the act of perceiving, reasoning and understanding emotions - both theirs and the employees. This is why having individuals with high emotional intelligence is important in managerial roles. A manager who is aware of where they are emotionally, where the employee is emotionally, and then makes right decisions based on that awareness means saving the organization some embarrassment and a potential lawsuit. And most importantly, it certainly will keep a manager from clocking an employee.