“Uh oh, Ms Wong is giving us the dagger eyes. Should we go back to class now?”
“Don’t worry, I’ve counted – she’ll only punish us after she has yelled three times.”
“Hey, isn’t that valuation report due today?”
“Nah, boss only gets angry after the client has called to ask for it.”
I’m lucky to have observed brilliant Managers, Decision Makers and Master Teachers at work. One thing they all shared – they all commanded an undisputed aura of respect in their orderly classrooms or workspaces.
A large part of this is because they don’t waste time threatening or warning needlessly. Instead, they quickly and efficiently enforce the rules while the mistake is still manageable.
Whether you’re a child or an employee, we all want leaders who are reliable and consistent. No one wants a leader who “tolerates” our bad behaviour in silence and suddenly explodes in anger when things grow out of hand.
After all, we can only thrive when we’re in a predictable environment.
Finally, remember this: A rule once broken, is broken. We shouldn’t wait to enforce a rule only after it was broken too many times!