Do you know that not once during the ill fated Apollo 13 mission did Mission Controller Gene Kranz lose his temper, raise his voice or show any other sign of stress?
Despite what that chap that used to hang around with Fonzie might have shown you to the contrary in is otherwise excellent movie: nor did anyone else involved, be it on Earth or in the heavens.
Let's face it: most of the decisions that most of us make in our day to day jobs are hardly life threatening: unless, of course, you are a practising Neurosurgeon or happen to work in a life or death role. Even there, with people that you would expect to be jumping around the place shouting "stat" a lot - the reality is that those that are really, really good at what they do barely ever raise their blood pressure above room temperature.
If Gene, Jim Lovell, Mr Brainsurgeon or the others were to lose their tempers and let their frustration shown it would be seen as a signal that they were losing control: they would lose faith from those around them and more importantly: they would lose respect.
So why is it that in so many work places we continue to allow Mr Angry to be seen as a good role model? Why is shouting at people allowed as a tool of getting them to work more productively. Why is using swear words as punctuation seen as a sign of strength and power, as opposed to stupidity?
I'm sure that there are professions where constantly being shouted at is a necessary part of training: for instance in the Army one probably doesn't have much time to think, so honing an instinct to act immediately is a vital part of survival.
But most of us don't work in the army, or in any situation where we are likely to receive any worse injury than the occasional paper cut (and in the increasingly paperless offices of today...).
If something goes wrong with your job today: what's the worst that's going to happen? OK: so there may be financial penalties somewhere if you miss a target, yeah: so your customers might be inconvenienced if your website goes down. But unless you are the chap in charge of the lazer that is pointed at the impending meteorite it is unlikely that any of this will cause major catastrophe or death.
So why shout? Why ruin someone's day and make them miserable at work? Sure: we all lose it from time to time, but when your only tool of gaining respect is to induce fear then I'm afraid that you've already failed in my book.
NB: Having said all the above about not shouting - i've just seen that Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys has died aged 47
Although I'm not a big fan of hip-hop I think it's worth a shout out to someone who professionally shouted at the end of each RHYME and bought the world such classics as "Sabotage" and the below - which contains one of my all time favourite amusing lyrics....I'll stir-fry you in my wok/like a pinch to the neck from Mr Spock....genius.