Hello Everyone, I have a query, if a Sales Manager who has a direct approach to Director of the company misbehaved, shouted & used wrong words with the Female HR of the company. What action HR can take on this. Please Guide me On this.

From India, Delhi
Dear member,

Please make your post "anonymous" the sooner you read this post.

There are two issues with your post. Whether the misbehaviour has a sexual undertone or the sales manager has shouted at the woman HR Manager which anyway he would have done it even with the male HR Manager. If the former, then it becomes a case of sexual harassment. If it is the latter, then it is general harassment.

Whatever type of harassment may be, to prove the harassment, you need a piece of material evidence. Therefore, whenever you get a feeling that the sales manager is likely to turn aggressive, turn on the audio of your mobile phone and capture his shouting. In case, if you do not have a facility to make an audio file of a longer duration, then download some App where it is possible to do the audio recording even for an hour. Later, you may file a complaint against the sales manager.

By the way, why does the sales manager shout? Does he shout only at you or he shouts at other staff members also? Have you done any analysis of his shouting? What is the frequency and if you filter his emotions, then what message he tries to convey? Is there any pattern in it?

Is wrong recruitment a problem in your company? Many times the management just hires assess the work of horses! This puts the managers in a bind, and they download their frustration on the juniors.

A healthy interpersonal environment in the company is absolutely essential, However, the sales managers are always under pressure to meet the target, and when their subordinates do not meet the target, it drives them mad. There is a video available on Youtube of a sales manager blasting his junior. He is from a very famous company that sells Apps to school students.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
From India, Delhi
Dear madam,

It is obvious that the Sales Manager got angry at the female HR as a reaction to some irritant. That does not mean, whether provoked or not, his shouting, using bad words, can be tolerated. Any sane, matured Manager would choose to discuss any disagreement on issues across the table and try to sort it out amicably. In fact , the right time for the Female HR to deal with it was when he started shouting. She should have firmly conveyed to not to throw temper but to discuss any issue coolly. I don't believe , this was done when the the incident of his shouting was in progress. Perhaps , HR remained quiet brooding over it. If the HR had firmly conveyed to the truant Manager to behave, perhaps things would have taken different turn.

Nevertheless, on merits, if Female HR staff considers the Manager has misbehaved with or without provocation, then she should take this up ( either verbally or in writing as deemed fit) with the top authority, giving facts of the incident backed by the evidence and leave it to him to take suitable action.


Vinayak Nagarkar
HR and Employee Relations Consultant

From India, Mumbai
Dear member,

The following deductions can be made from the posts that you have given:

a) The first one is of course related to the top leadership. If the Sales Manager goes on with the shouting spree, then his loud voice must have reached the ears of the top management. In that case, why is this person keeping quiet? His/her silence shows that the top leadership has not understood the importance of a healthy interpersonal environment in the company. Having interpersonal skills is a basic requirement for a manager. The motivation of the juniors starts with these skills. Yet, the shouting of the sales manager is falling on the deaf ears of the top leadership.

b) The second thing that your top leadership has not understood is to institute a culture of feedback. No person is perfect, and if the sales manager is rubbing others the wrong way, then the top leadership should have stepped in to give feedback to the erring manager. While the employees, which includes managers as well, come and go, the company remains. By allowing the sales manager's obstreperousness, the organisation's culture is getting vitiated, and this will hold back the growth of the company. This realisation is yet to dawn upon the top leadership.

c) The sales manager is making a sweeping statement that "the HR is nothing". It is not just the sales manager of your company, but many others from the various other departments also hold similar views. This is because, in the erstwhile era, HR was called personnel management. It was predominantly an administrative function. A personnel manager was nothing but a glorified clerk. Unfortunately, modern HR is yet to break this glass-ceiling of clerkism. They are unable to prove what value do they add to the business. Neither the management gives them the chance to involve in the business-enriching activities nor does the HR takes a personal interest in measuring ROI on their activities. Against thick backdrop, the HR function itself degenerates.

d) You have written that "He has a ego and attitude problem he don't want to listen to the HR instructions whatever HR will say he will not follow". Since the verbatim of the statement, I have not corrected the grammatical mistakes in the statement. You could have given a clarification, which instruction did you give him, and whether you were authorised to give the instructions. In the organisational hierarchy, what are the levels of both of you? If your position is lower, then rather than your own, why you did not shoot your guns from the shoulder of the top management? Is it that the target was right, but the shoulder used was wrong and now you are a pain a recoil of the gun?

e) Lastly, feedback to you also. Both the posts of yours are cryptic. I had asked so many questions in the previous post, but rather than being elaborative, again you have chosen to be perfunctory. So whom to blame? Should the blame be only laid at the door of the sales manager for being imperious or to the others, which includes you as well, for the insouciance? It is difficult to decide. Anyway, your two posts have brought to the fore, although inadvertently, the requirement to master several skills to be a good manager, which includes predominantly written communication skills. The sooner you master these skills, the better for you.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Rohini,

Though I tried analysing the situation in my last post, I had not offered you the solution. The solution could be as below:

a) Please lie low for a few weeks or months. Whatever may be the provocation from the sales manager, do not react. Take it in your stride.

b) Do the strength and weakness analysis of the sales manager. Identify which weaknesses are detrimental to the company.

c) Identify whether there is anyone against the sales manager within his department. Is it possible to instigate this person against the sales manager? What I am suggesting is morally objectionable. Nevertheless, if it is in the interest of the company, nothing wrong to be manipulative.

d) In the meanwhile, understand how the sales department functions. How do they bring the revenue? If possible accompany the salespersons to the field to understand the working of the salespersons. In many companies, this is an acceptable practice. Not just sales, but the HR professionals are expected to know production, operations, warehousing and so on.

e) Identify scope to reduce the cost either in your department or in some other department. This will catch the attention of the top boss of your company.

Final comments: - One just cannot have generous or noble intentions to develop the organisation. While executing those honest intentions, one may face resistance. This is what could be happening in your case. In such a case, you may have to take up the cudgels. The cudgels could be political also.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

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