How to Avoid Workplace Anger's Corrosive Effects
Cheri Swales | Monster Contributing Writer
Steps to Control Anger Constructively
We all become irritated or angry every now and then. What can we do to control that anger and be more constructive? Donald Gibson of Fairfield University, who co-wrote Managing Anger in the Workplace, offers the following strategies for controlling anger:
- Avoid anger as much as possible. This doesn’t mean suppress your feelings, but rather improve your outlook on yourself and life so there are fewer situations in which you would become angry.
- Think about your anger and determine if it really makes sense given the situation.
- Control your physical response to anger by doing constructive things, such as exercising, getting enough sleep and avoiding alcohol. The healthier you are, the more likely you are to respond appropriately to situations.
- Let go of unmanageable anger. Many situations will be out of your control, so it is important to let go of this type of anger. Ask yourself, “Can I resolve whatever it is that’s causing this anger?” If you can’t, then you need to let it go.
- If you feel anger and are having a difficult time dealing with it, see if your company has an employee assistance program (EAP). EAP providers typically allow employees to see therapists in these circumstances.
You don’t have to live in a state of bitterness, anger or rage. If you deal effectively with your anger, you will increase your chances of being promoted at some point — and of being an effective leader when the time comes.
When Anger Strikes
- Take several deep breaths.
- Repeat a calming word or phrase in your mind, such as “relax” or “stay calm.”
- Slowly count to 10.
- Ask yourself, “How would my favorite leader handle this situation?”
- Avoid tensing up your muscles. As soon as you can, close your eyes and consciously think to unclench your jaw and loosen your muscles.
- Listen to your favorite music.
- When you’re feeling angry after you leave work, change clothes as soon as you get home. This simple gesture will help you change your state of mind.