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How To Treat People Who Work For You

Updated on March 22, 2011

Being a good boss according to me

The other day I was watching "Kourtney and Kim Take New York", the E! Channel reality show about the two Kardashian sisters opening a branch of their store in New York City (I won't lie, I watch it because of Kim, as she's an absolute goddess), when I saw something in the episode that provoked a bit of thought.

Kourtney's boyfriend, Scott Disick, had hired an assistant named Dale to help him with his various endeavors, and then Scott proceeded to treat poor Dale like complete garbage; yelling at him, belittling him, telling him he was worthless, and then having the gall to defend his actions in the narrative.

By the time he apologized to Dale at the end of the episode, it was too late; Dale was fed up with Scott and essentially told him to kiss off when he was offered his job back.

Scott's problems and issues have been well documented, but his antics on the show truly showed his colors. It reminded me of something that Sirius Black told Harry Potter and his friends, Ron and Hermione, in the fourth book of the epic Potter saga The Goblet of Fire,

"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."

In that context, Scott treated Dale like an inferior sub-human being, which is exactly the wrong thing to do when someone is under your employ.

I can emphasize with Dale, as many of my supervisors in the various jobs that I've had over the years have treated me similarly to how that poor guy was treated by Scott.

So when I was made an editor of a local sports fan blog site and was given the responsibility of hiring people to blog about the various sports teams that the site featured, I made it a point to remember and follow this saying,

"it's easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar."

By that I mean that once people signed on, I made sure to treat them as well as possible by giving them positive feedback and encouragement on their articles, making requests and remainders in a positive manner by saying things like, "I'd really appreciate it if you could get this in", and "You're important to this site", basically treating the bloggers as I'd like to be treated; essentially following the golden rule.

Another good reason for treating the writers I've hired the way I do is because it's essential for the site that I'm an editor of to grow and make progress as a sports fan site on the internet, getting as much exposure and readership as possible.

Such progress could not happen if I was a jerk to the site's bloggers the way Scott was to Dale, plus it's not really in my nature to intentionally and deliberately treat people badly when I was treated like dirt while in similar situations (I don't treat people badly anyway, but you know what I mean).

That's why it's important to treat those who work under you like human beings, rather than a street dog or a marine recruit at boot camp with you being the drill sergeant. Try your best to not give them the feeling that you're "telling them what to do" or ordering them around, and they will be more willing to do their best and be reliable; everyone benefits when employers and supervisors treats their chargers with the dignity and respect that they always deserve.

Perhaps if Scott had kept that in mind when he first employed Dale on that show, Dale wouldn't have quit and all would have been well.

If nothing else, Scott did a good job in that episode in showing what not to do.



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