Anger creeps up on even the best of us. The real question is whether or not you have the tools to control your anger so that it doesn’t begin to negatively impact your work. Today I want to share a few techniques for you to implement in your daily life in the hopes that you will be better able to control your emotions in the workplace.
When you feel the rage boiling under your skin, try a few of these ideas:
• It may seem childish, but take a time-out. Close your office door, don’t answer the phone, breathe slowly, and count to 10 – count again if you need to. Always take a few minutes to regroup before returning to the scene of the crime.
• Get some exercise. Get up from your desk and go for a walk – take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk around the outside of your building. Physical exertion is a great way to relieve stress and tension; which is why being involved in an after-work sport or activity is great for your overall well being.
• Keep a journal. Writing out your feelings may help you to identify the sources of your anger and find ways to handle them better. Perhaps you’re getting angry over something silly – writing it out may help you to see things in a different light.
• Calmly and professionally express your anger. Let the person who offended or angered you know that he or she has done so, but do not lash out. Wait until you have calmed down and explain why you feel the way you do. If it’s not possible to speak to the person who upset you, seek out a friend or counselor and talk it out.
• Never speak in anger. You’ll say things you might regret and run the chance of ruining your career or team relationships. Always wait until you’ve calmed down to respond to any situation.
Being able to control your anger will contribute to your developing communication skills as well as ensure you keep your workplace under control. It only takes one or two angry slip-ups to completely disgruntle your employees or superiors – and those relationships will be very difficult to redevelop once they’re destroyed.
Originally published: 6 October, 2008
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