Most of us assume that nobody likes getting yelled at, especially in the workplace. In fact, yelling directly at your employees or colleagues out of frustration or anger is a very quick way to get in big trouble with human resources—even if you didn’t mean any harm by it.
But, as it turns out, there really is a time and a place where yelling in the workplace might actually be conducive to your work life. It can be your own personal outlet for letting off steam or getting pumped up before a big meeting—as long as you’re doing it respectfully.
Below, we reached out to a handful of business owners and directors in our network to get their insights on when, where, and how screaming and shouting in the workplace might actually work in your favor.
From letting off steam to pumping up colleagues during a drowsy workplace training, here’s when you might want to consider raising your voice.
It allows you to let off steam (when you’re alone!)
“Yes, there are times when it is okay to yell at work. It is when you are alone,” shares Alex Perkons, Co-Founder of All The Stuff. “As one of my favorite Physics Law says, everything that can go wrong, will go wrong (Murphy’s Law). So it is not surprising that you may get upset over several things at work, be it a failed project or just your co-worker slacking off even though there are tons of things to finish.”
If you feel you need to let out steam, Perkins suggests yelling it out. However, remember to do it when you are alone. If you have a private office, then go and close the door and the blinds then yell your heart out. If you don’t have a private space, then go outside to an open area and do your yelling.
“Just remember that yelling at other people is a big no-no since this is considered an abuse and you might get in trouble. Also, everybody is going through something and your yelling might just be the last straw for them to lose their minds. Be compassionate and gentle to yourself and to others,” he adds.
It can inspire and motivate colleagues and employees
“There is a difference between out of control yelling and controlled yelling with a purpose,” shares Ravi Parikh, CEO, RoverPas. “Out of control yelling generates fear in others, the unpredictability of what may happen next can be terrifying.”
However, with controlled yelling it can be used to motivate and to inspire. “I think of sports coaches… yelling to get their team pumped up. It infuses the room with energy. And that is when it is appropriate to yell.”
It can help keep people alert and awake
Training can be boring as all get out. If you have to present through the training, you are probably thinking about falling asleep. Its solution is, of course, yelling. “Don’t speak of your training, yell your training. It is tough to fall asleep when someone is yelling at you, and enthusiasm tends to be infectious,” says Shiv Gupta, CEO, Incrementors Web Solutions.
“You have to understand what you are going to say before you start yelling or you end raving in nonsense. I would run through an hour-long training in the mirror at a minimum once before giving it and keep index cards in hand. You can’t go up and spout nonsense, insanity is just as contagious as enthusiasm!”
It helps to drum up excitement in the office
“Yelling at work does not sound like the most constructive thing in the world, but in some cases, it very well could be,” says Andrew Pires, Founder of The Maskie.
“Excitement is something you wish everyone that works with you feels. If they complete a big project or sign a big client, this calls for excitement!”
According to Pires, a shout or a yell of excitement is something not seen as negative and in many ways bolsters the confidence of people who achieve these goals. The rush of adrenaline that you receive when yelling makes you feel that you did a good job and pushes you to have that next rush.
It allows you to cheer on employees and colleagues
A lot of people associate yelling with anger—they think yelling at work must mean you’re angry with someone. However, according to Daivat Dholakia, Director of Operations, Force by Mojio, there are some occasions where yelling can be a form of motivation.
Think about football coaches. They yell, jump up and down, and sometimes even slam or break things. Most of the time, that’s not because of anger. They’re demonstrating their passion and encouraging their team.
“If you work in a high-energy environment with several employees, cheering on employees as an individual or through a group cheer can be one way managers keep everyone motivated. It sounds corny, but it works for some teams!”