Managing Anger at the Workplace – A Module
It is very obvious that like most people, you must have felt a sudden rush of anger at your workplace at some point of time. A tiff with your boss might have triggered it or unsatisfactory feedback from a client might have been the last straw. The workplace can be a high-stress environment. Combined levels of stress can lead to a highly combustible situation that can spark violence and anger in the blink of an eye.
CareerBuilder India points out that while anger can be a standard healthy emotion otherwise, at the workplace it can work completely against you. However, channeling anger properly can serve the right amount of motivation. Since anger is a coping mechanism and we use it to deal with our frustrations and guilt, it is likely that any action taken at the spur of the moment in a fit of rage can be lethal. Speaking strictly about the workplace, the following can be the harbingers of anger:
• Hurt and harassment
• Work pressure
• Lack of communication
• Frustration at not attaining goals
• Frustration at not performing as expected
• Lack of motivation
• Any threat to power, position or job security
Having said that, it is important to understand that anger is a subjective experience. For example, if you work as a marketer, the frustration that you experience when transferred on a field job for a certain time duration will differ from the amount of anger and resentment that another employee feels. It could be that the other employee loves to do field work and may not experience any anger because of the change.
Coming back to the disparaging feeling – the point is how we manage the emotion. The following module can prove to be of help:
ANGER MANAGEMENT MODULE
Objective: Channelling Anger Properly
Target Audience: Lower and Middle Management Employees
Step 1. Maintain a “Punch” Log
The first step in anger management is to maintain a diary/journal/excel sheet titled ‘My Punch Log’. This is the place where you jot down your feelings of anger whenever you feel them. A typical sheet will be divided into 3 columns and 6 rows. The 3 columns will be titled “What Happened”, “Your Reaction”, and “How Could You Have Responded Better”. So next time your colleague in the HR department messes up with your data sheet (which definitely will make you feel enraged), it is the Punch Log that you should turn to. The 6 rows are for the working days in the week.
Step 2. Acknowledging
Once you have settled into the routine of jotting down the instances at which you have felt angry and written down the steps that you took to respond to the feeling of frustration, the next step will be to let the acknowledgement sink in. Now that you know that anger is not letting you behave in an appropriate manner, you need to acknowledge the need to change your behaviour.
Step 3. Interventions
While there are a number of anger intervention techniques, you need to start by trying one which works like a self-help module. Note the following:
• Pause when you feel the need to direct anger at a colleague or to bang a fist on your desk
• Take deep breaths and stop thinking negative
• Follow the worst-case scenario and think about the options in that case
Step 4. Communicate
Whatever is causing you to lose your cool, don’t let it dwell inside you. Communicate with fellow colleagues and let them know about your resentments. Maybe you find an anger companion, or better still, someone who offers you a way to deal with it.
Following the anger management module can help you channelize anger and harmful emotions in a positive manner. It can also provide you with a sneak-peak into your personality without any counselling. Any employee belonging to any industry, whether it is Technology or finance, can easily inculcate this module in his or her normal working schedule to get extremely good results.