Angry At Work!?! Bill Spindloe




Ever imagined punching the boss? I took a straw poll in the office and all admitted to having had these thoughts at some point. Either my colleagues are a fair representation of the working world, or I need to drastically change my leadership style.

I have worked with some people in the past who tell me that some weeks hitting the boss is all they cant think about. I had one colleague who used to go through about half a dozen staplers a year, as they used to take the brunt of his frustrations, rather than him manhandling his manager.

Brutalizing the office stationery or harboring a desire to slap your supervisor probably isn’t healthy, or the best response, but is all anger bad? Its true that the human race probably would not have survived without anger, but it also seems just a true to say that we have also survived in spite of it.

The only expression of anger that seems to be acceptable is righteous indignation, generally, although not always, a perceived mistreatment of others, and even the toleration of that expression still has its limits.

The fact is that even if you are a 100% correct that you have been wronged in someway, how you express your feelings on the subject are all important. So here are a few things to think about, as difficult as it may be in the heat of the moment, that may just help.

Take a Time Out – Walk away from the computer, and leave the phone behind. Once you hit the send button and its received there is no taking it back !
Get it Out ! – Find a way to vent your anger and frustration. A sympathetic colleague or friend perhaps. Someone who you know can talk you down, not someone who throws more fuel on the fire.Let off the pressure. You could write out that e-mail, just don’t hit send.
Breathe – I know we have likely heard someone say that before, or count to 10 perhaps. But there is a rationale here. It wont get rid of the anger, but it may just put the brakes on that first, and possibly devastating response.
And if you do need to ensure that a wrong is righted, then ensure that you express yourself in a way that is calm and measured. Put a little distance between you and the initial reaction and convene a meeting, set aside time for that discussion.

Anyone can be angry with anyone, but its knowing when, where and how to be angry that shows real control, and is ultimately the most difficult thing to manage.

‘Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die’


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