INSTANT MBA: Don't Lose Your Cool

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Today’s advice comes from Mario Batali, chef and television personality, via The New York Times:

“I worked with a lot of yellers over the years. My opinion is that yelling is the result of the dismay you feel when you realise you have not done your own job … One of the big rules for our kitchens is that if you’re not close enough to be able to touch me, you can’t talk to me.”

Batali knows that restaurants are known for boisterous yelling in the kitchen. But he doesn’t encourage it. Batali makes his kitchens small, so orders and requests can be processed in a conversational tone. He believes that yelling can create problems in understanding, which can turn into more serious problems and a toxic environment. 

“If someone isn’t learning, my strategy for changing someone’s behaviour has always been a stern, relatively direct conversation, sotto voce but within earshot of their peers — not mocking them, yelling at them or calling them names — and telling them exactly what I expect them to be able to do the next time we go through this. Their peers can hear it, so the message is clear to everyone.”

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