Managers and leaders must not only manage projects and organizations, but also the people within them. And management is not just about being the boss.
Managing people means improving them. Not just demanding work from them. Anger management is an important skill for any manager.
It’s almost certain that there have been times when you’ve been angry at work. The question is whether you have been allowing that anger to surface. Many people think that anger has no place at work, but Hesha Abrams, author of “Holding the Calm: The Secrets to Resolving Conflict and Defusing Tension,” thinks otherwise. See also: “Conflict Management in Human Resources and People management“, https://bvop.org/learn/conflictsmanagement/
“Anger is a normal emotion. If you don’t address it, it builds up and at some point erupts in an ugly way,” she says. According to her, anger can be useful in your work, as long as you know how to express it in the right way.
A manager must control his emotions
First of all, you need to control your emotions and decide how to express your anger. If you feel like you’ve lost control and are so angry that you can’t think straight and measure your words, Abrams advises closing your mouth and taking a deep breath. She calls this “keeping calm.”
“I taught the kids what I call ‘tough it out like a dinosaur.’ Curl the nails in the palm of your hand and squeeze hard. That little nudge is enough to trick your nervous system into thinking, “There’s something else going on here.” This interrupts anger-fury. Honestly, being out of control is scary for other people, especially when we’re talking about a higher-up.
Think about the other person
How you express your anger is often based on how you were raised. For example, if you grew up in a family where anger and conflict were normal and yelling was common, you may be someone who raises your voice when angry. But if you grew up in a quiet, peaceful household, this type of expression might scare you.
“Someone might say, ‘That’s terrible. You’re invading my space. And the other person might respond, ‘I’m just a passionate person and I’m expressing my feelings,'” Abrams explains. “If you’re talking to someone who often raises their voice, yelling won’t make them uncomfortable. “If you’re talking to someone quiet, yelling will make them defensive and withdrawn,” she adds.
Abrams compares anger to vomiting. Sometimes you have to throw up, but first, you have to find a trash can so you don’t throw up in front of everyone.
“You have a moral and ethical obligation to see what you vomit,” she says. “If you have people who are timid, hurt, or uncomfortable about it, then it’s irresponsible to just vent your anger. Choose how to express that anger. We have a gas pedal. You wouldn’t do 90 in a school zone and you wouldn’t do 20 on the freeway. Control the behavior,” she says.
Share your feelings the right way
Anger can be a strategic tool, Abrams says. “Kindness is a great tool for building rapport with people and building pleasant workplaces, but it doesn’t change policy or help bring about innovation,” he explains. However, anger has such potential.
However, it’s good to have allies in these cases so it doesn’t seem like you’re the only one who’s angry. “You’re likely to be marginalized if you’re alone, but if you find other people who are also angry about a topic, then you can make allies,” Abrams says. “That way your displeasure will be taken more seriously.”
Abrams also says that it’s better to express your anger verbally than through actions. “There’s nothing wrong with saying, ‘I’m really angry,’ or ‘That makes me mad,'” she explains
“You express your feelings and you have the right to express anger. Of course, it all depends on the situation, who you’re talking to, and how angry you are. But you still have to be in control of yourself,” she adds.
For example, you might say, “I’m really angry. This policy is just wrong. It’s going to hurt a lot of people.”
“That statement requires someone to listen to you and interact with you,” Abrams says. “It’s the other person’s responsibility to ask why or find out if they can help you. They might not agree with you, but it’s a normal method of cooling off rage,” she adds.