Employment Chronicles: When being a jerk doesn’t work!

While it’s GENERALLY not illegal to be a jerk, it certainly doesn’t pay to be one. There are many ways your disposition can affect your Company’s bottom line. One of the major ways that business owners and managers do not anticipate their ‘approach’ will come back to haunt them is in the event of a lawsuit- discrimination, harassment, retaliation and others. Even the most baseless claims can become difficult to fend off if you have a track record of Scrooge-like management tactics. How? It’s a credibility killer. Nobody likes a jerk…including juries!

Even the most mediocre law-related television series or film will show that credibility of witnesses is always a major factor in a case. You can be as straight-laced as they come in reality but if you are not credible, this can be a problem when it comes to defending a suit. Even if you have done nothing wrong, you must ask yourself: How can a juror focus on what you’ve done right when the other side’s attorney is ripping your credibility to shreds witness by witness? You don’t want people to be able to describe in open court how horrible you are to work with or for. Perception is reality- jurors are everyday people who work for someone too. Even if you resolve a case before it gets to a jury, many attorneys are skilled in using this type of thing as leverage when trying to elicit a higher amount in settlement dollars.

There are ways to be meaningful and firm with your management style without offending or belittling your staff- and this doesn’t require an undermining of your authority or sacrificing expectations. Many leaders make the mistake of equating meanness with effectiveness. Not only is it not the same, but it may end up costing you more in the long run. Remember- your employees can MAKE or BREAK you! Govern yourself accordingly! Questions? Concerns? Call us today!

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