According to the American Psychological Association anger is a completely normal human emotion. But tell that to the direct report who has just endured an angry boss yelling about three different things while making absolutely no sense and you’ll get a different definition. Displaced anger in the workplace is unproductive, and that’s putting it mildly. Such anger destroys relationships; halts progress in its tracks and often create barriers resistant to change.
If you are one of those with the “anger problem” be aware that just saying whatever you feel is inappropriate (“I just say what I mean…”) and does absolutely nothing to excuse your behavior. According to psychologists, you have to discover what triggers your anger first, then try this when you feel your anger rising:
o Don’t Exaggerate or become Overly Dramatic. Instead of telling yourself “it’s just terrible” try saying “this is frustrating, but…”
o Stop being Judgmental. Eliminate the words “never” and “always” from your vocabulary.
o Create a list. Before you storm into a room, yelling something inappropriate, make a short list of what you hope to accomplish. Three items are plenty.
o Be Logical. Logic trumps anger. No one knows where anger will take you, but it’s probably someplace you don’t want to go.
o The Meeting is About Them, Not You. Lose the attitude that someone is out to make you look bad or such nonsense.
o Ask, don’t Tell. Try presenting what you want with the words “I would like” rather than “I expect you to…” or “I demand…”
o Progress not Perfection. Make a plan and try to stick to it. Anger Boy and Anger Girl won’t go away overnight. It’s okay to be a human being. We all get angry at times. If you lose your cool, acknowledge it, promise to do better and move on.
o Avoid Snap Decisions. Don’t jump to conclusions when you don’t get what you want. Allow the other person to evaluate the information first.
o Don’t Fight It. It’s natural to get defensive when someone counters your input. Instead, try listening to what the other person is really saying, and then continue.
o Be Like Dorothy. Tomorrow really is another day.
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