Many stockmen have lost their cool trying to move stock through a gate or load them on to a truck because they lacked the necessary knowledge, skill and patience to work with the four basic instincts of animals that explain what animals want and why they behave the way they do.

 In the heat and the dust, tempers can fray, frustration can set in and many an animal and worker have been abused as one failed attempt followed another.

Recently, a friend of mine was unfairly ‘blasted’ by a senior executive of the firm she had recently joined. The firm had been experiencing cash-flow problems that had nothing to do with her direct area of responsibility.

This senior executive was obviously lacking the required knowledge to source the cash flow issue. He, therefore panicked and showered verbal violence on my friend, the firm’s newest recruit.

She was not impressed, particularly as this ‘gentleman’ had no authority over her area. Being the experienced and self-confident woman that she is, she calmly asked the executive if his behaviour was due to panic, ignorance or just plain bad manners – you can imagine how well that was received.

Another friend of mine often loses her cool and verbally ‘hits out’ at her partner because she is just so frustrated over the way he indulges his children. She’s simply run out of ways (knowledge) to get him to see the folly of his indulgences. He subsequently ‘goes into his cave’ and the status quo remains.

No doubt you’ve all witnessed a mother or father physically lash out at a misbehaving child, when they lack the knowledge, skill and patience to handle the situation appropriately. The child’s submission is temporary and the bad behaviour will escalate.

Many a board meeting has turned into a slanging match when previously composed, articulate executives are at their wits’ end as to how to move forward with a particular challenge. Eye-rolling, verbal attacks and fist banging permeate the charged atmosphere as educated, intelligent adults just don’t know which way to turn or what new strategy to adopt or how to appease their myriad of stakeholders. Meetings end in stalemates.

When knowledge runs out, panic and violence sets in – and the outcome is NEVER a positive or constructive one.

‘Violence’ in any form is never the answer. Indeed, emotional and verbal abuse including anything that makes you feel worthless, such as shouting, name calling, swearing and constant criticism is cited as a form of ‘domestic or family violence’.

I wonder how many businesses should be reported? Mind you, I consider silence and stonewalling as an equally cruel form of ‘violence’; more on that in another newsletter to come.

If you are struggling with a relationship or situation and find yourself consistently reacting to it, seek out knowledge and help either through research, reading or engaging a coach – preferably one who has had to deal with their own anger issues and behaviours (me) when their own knowledge has run out – so they can relate to you.

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