Managing Angry Reactions in the Workplace / Three Questions to Ask

Managing our angry reactions in the workplace is essential to maintaining  harmony in the company as well as balancing our business and personal lives. Everyone encounters situations at job that make them angry. What are your triggers?

Is it a Micro-managing boss? An annoying complaining co-worker that always get their way? Perhaps it’s those redundant reports that are needed which could be eliminated along with one quick memo, yet instead take hours.

Conflict at job is inevitable, yet learning how to manage and control it, and moving through those difficult situations is critical to the victory of the organization as well as your individual growth in your career.

Knowing what your anger triggers are at job is the very first step towards managing your anger.

Consider making a list of the things that anger you at job over the next two weeks.

List these three questions:

What was the situation?

What exactly was it that made me angry?

What was I thinking and feeling at the time?

After two weeks review your list and look for patterns.

Consider different things you could have actually done to avoid the conflict.

Consider constructive ways you can modification the situations that cause the problem.

One quick method to control anger is to recognize the difference between Reacting and Responding.

When we react to something, we often do so quickly and without much thought, like a reflex. Whereas if we respond, we think about our actions before we act. Reaction is a negative term, such as when the doctor says you are having a reaction to the prescribed medication, whereas if he says you are responding to the medication that is a positive sign.

The point being, if we think about the situation in advance, we can plan a positive response, as opposed to a negative reaction.

We cannot control the way others are going to act, yet we can control how we respond.  For example, taking an inventory of what is happening in our personal lives, the stresses we have actually at home, and comparing them along with those we encounter at work, can help us see how both can contribute to each other. It is impossible to completely separate the two. However, understanding how they interact can help alleviate the strain each may have actually on the other. It is easy to see how pressure from house that is carried into the office can make an additional susceptible to having an angry reaction to things at work, and vice versa.

Communication is fairly important, both in the workplace and at home. Whereas we may not feel comfortable, nor think it is appropriate to share our personal struggles along with our co-workers, just having an awareness of how one affects the other can be helpful in reducing angry reactions. Being able to objectively look at how we react or respond to circumstances at job can eliminate several instances of anger.

Knowing what contributes to our anger, what our triggers are, and having a plan for responding can help reduce incidents of anger at work, and allow us to be more productive and secure in the workplace.