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Why is reprimanding so important?

A key quality of a leader? Being good at reprimanding!

2019 August 08 | by Arduino Mancini Reprimand Praise feedback

Want a nice career? Want to be a leader? Then you need to learn to reprimand.

How? There are different styles.

There’s the shouted reprimand, the whispered one, which ends with a slow exhale from the nose (“remember that I have an infallible memory …”), the one that starts with good intentions (“I have to keep calm, keep calm, very calm, I must not go for him … not this time …”) and then explodes, releasing everything it has to give (“what are you talking about …? How can anyone be such an idiot?”).

The repertoire is remarkably extensive.

And yet, if you want to make sure that someone understands you’re the boss, and that your action is required to activate his neurons, then – regardless of your favourite style – you need to follow a few golden rules.

When to reprimand

Whenever you want, but only if you feel you have your man within your control. It’s only a week since the last time and he doesn’t remember anything? Never mind, he’s sure to be lying.


Preferably in public. It’ll all be more exciting and the audience will clearly understand that you are the master of the situation, and can govern this person as you please.


15-20 minutes should be enough. You must not necessarily let the subordinate speak. If he tries to react, you can always raise your voice to cover his. Remember: someone who’s made such a silly mistake as the one that got on your nerves is nothing but a fool, and must he be treated as such. Therefore, go on repeating your arguments again and again, because he may not get it on the first 2-3 attempts.

Focus of attention

Two points, especially. First of all, size: if your subordinate is stout, be gentle. Secondly, make sure he is replaceable. After a dose of your treatment, if he doesn’t take sick leave, he still won’t be properly back on track for a good couple of weeks.

I’m not sure this technique works, but it’s certainly the most widely used.

What do you think?

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