Jesse, Pipe Foreman for an excavation company in Vancouver, WA, told Session 7A of Turbo's Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
"I was sitting at home on Sunday afternoon watching TV. When my phone rang, I answered and said 'Hello,' Roy started yelling at me. He told me he was tired of being the first guy I laid off, always the first guy to be sent home when work started to slow down. He let me know in no uncertain terms, I wasn't the only person with bills to be paid and that he liked to make money too. I would normally blow up at anyone who started yelling at me this way. Typically I'd say, 'You can't talk to me like that,' 'Who do you think you are?' 'Do you know this is Sunday?' Instead, I just sat back and listened to him. When he was finally through ranting, I said 'I can see how you feel, let's see if we can find some work for you. Come on in tomorrow and we will find something for you to do.'
He came in Monday and I put him to work on my backhoe digging the footer for one of our church projects. This freed me up to work on the calculations and scheduling for the next day's pour. I didn't have to yell back at him. I didn't have to tell or prove to him that I am the boss. I didn't have to be right. He's a great operator and I need to learn how to delegate.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is when my guys get upset it is important for me to listen to them. Breathe, sit back, trust myself and know I will be able to handle things in a more level-headed, professional way.
"The action I call you to take is to listen when you are on the receiving end of anyone who is upset. Respond positively. Remember to 'See Their Point of View' (Leadership Principle #5). In other words, treat your crew the way you want to be treated. Remember you are a leader, so act like one.
"The benefit you will gain is happy crew members, who feel you understand. You will earn more respect from your crew members and your team will consistently beat the bid."
A profound question: "Would you rather be right or happy?" I know what you're thinking, why do I have to make a choice? I want both. Well, of course you do. Ego always wants to be 'right.' So again, if you must choose and sometimes you'll have to choose, would you rather be right or happy? You decide. We know people who always have to be right and they are miserable. You may also know others who have learned to let go of the little things that can seem big sometimes and as a result are quite happy.