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Chapter 14. Worry About the Other Shoe D... > Violence, Disciplinary Action, and D... - Pg. 143

Worry About the Other Shoe Dropping-- Violence When a manager sets a climate of verbal abuse and disrespect, there may be an increased chance of violence. 143 So, it's Tuesday and John's had enough of the poor productivity. He calls Garry into his office, leaves the door open, and says: "Well, Garry, I'm fed up with your lack of productivity, so this is your last day. You're fired and if you think you are going to get a good reference from me, no way, brother. Security will walk you to your workspace so you can get your personal effects, and your check will be mailed to you." OK, try to pick out the problems in this scenario. What are the chances that Garry is liable to haul off and hit John right away or become sufficiently upset to return with a gun to even the score? Has John created a high risk scenario? Yes. Let's look at what John should have done. Preventive Measures and Dismissal John's first error is establishing a work environment where hostility and abuse are acceptable. This increases the risk of violence in general. One thing a manager should do is work to create an at- mosphere of respect and nonabusive behavior, because abusive verbal behavior can lead to violent behavior. John's own behavior should have been different. He should serve as a role model. Second, any abusive or disrespectful behavior occurring in the workplace should be dealt with using the pro- gressive discipline scenario described in the previous chapter. From the Manager's Desk