Since we are all human, we all tend to make mistakes every now and then. We forget to turn the light off on our way out: oops, the electric bill! We give the wrong information to someone and they end up having to deal with the direct consequences of our error. Mistakes happen. However, when mistakes or errors occur in the workplace the consequences can be dire. Even worse, the consequences can come in the form of decreased dollar signs for you or the company, or both. In the event of a mistake or even if something doesn’t go quite the way you expected, tempers can flare. Unfortunately, anger in the workplace can only breed bad, negative things. So how can you as an employee or employer work to combat anger in the workplace?
First thing’s first. You need to understand that no matter what the reason is for your temper, being angry or lashing out at a coworker or employee is always a choice you make. So often you hear “so and so is making me angry” or “I got so angry because so and so did this.” No matter what the circumstance or the reason, getting angry and flaring up is a choice you make for yourself. You certainly can’t control what others do, but you can always control what you do for yourself. Before you fly off the handle in the office, take a deep breath and remember that you have the choice to let your anger slide.
The next step is to seriously take a look at why you are angry in the first place. You can point the finger of blame towards other people, but we all know where that gets us. Instead, take a look within and try to understand the core of the reason you are angry. Could you have avoided this situation or done something to make it better? In these cases, there is always great time for reflection and understanding. Getting angry is the easy choice. It’s easy to get angry and to blame someone else. It’s much more difficult to step back and truly understand what is going on here. When you take some time to reflect, there’s a chance to change the situation for the better next time it comes around- if by chance it does.
It’s also important to understand that there really isn’t room for anger in the workplace. Think about it: if everyone was quick to lose their temper, the workplace environment would be entirely too hostile to be productive in any great way. And if you are the angry coworker or employee, no one is going to want to work with you for fear of being on the other end of your wrath. That’s not the kind of image or perception you want to be giving out in the office.
Next time you are in the office and feel the surge of anger coming on, take a step back and instead of lashing out choose to take a deep breath. Exhale and relax. Take a minute to understand the situation and know that getting angry is your choice. Instead, choose to tackle the issue in a better way. No one wants to be around, or work with, an angry employee or coworker.
IMAGE: Courtesy of Stop and Breathe