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Learn How to Manage Your Anger, and Get Ahead at Work


We all experience anger, which is a normal and healthy response to perceived problems. If we never felt anger, something would be terribly wrong with our psyches. However, employees may find themselves in a situation where they can’t win: if they express anger, they may be reprimanded or worse, and if they don’t express anger, it will eat them up inside. Learn the necessary anger management skills for the workplace for your own survival and success.

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(Photo Credit: sun dazed/Flickr)

The goal of anger management is not to deny anger, but rather to help people make more appropriate choices about how they deal with anger. Consciously controlling your reaction is key to appropriate behavior in the workplace.

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Physical Reactions

Anger is an emotional state that varies in intensity. It may be mild irritation or pure rage. Anger has physical effects; it raises blood pressure and the surge of adrenaline in the bloodstream affects behavior.

Step one in managing anger at work is often physical. Taking a deep breath and consciously telling yourself to relax before you respond may be the difference between losing your temper and starting a productive conversation about something dysfunctional at work.

Communication Styles

Our word choices make a huge difference. When you say, “You never finish your work on time,” the other person will likely feel defensive and resentful. They may even get angry at you.

Avoid words such as “always” and “never” when communicating. Also, avoid confrontational tones and language. For example, “I notice that you seem to be having trouble finishing things on time” is a better segue into need for improvement.

Problem Solving

Logic and problem solving have a wonderful way of defeating anger. You may be angry about a real problem at work, and frustration and anger are reasonable responses to problems.

Instead of screaming about it, take a deep breath and see if you can find a solution. Speak calmly to your boss. Some problems are more difficult to solve than others, so be ready to brainstorm. Remember to use logic; if something is not working, state calmly why it does not work, and ask for help finding solutions when necessary.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you get angry at work? What do you do about it? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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