Keep Cool: Fighting Anger in the Workplace
February 1, 2011
Everyone gets frustrated at work from time to time, but an angry outburst at a coworker or superior can be a career-killer. Here we look at ways to control your temper even under the most aggravating circumstances. Even if you're working at your dream job, you're likely to have some bad days every now and then. But whether you are facing conflicts with your coworkers
- Are you at fault? People often hate to be criticized, but it's important to recognize when the criticism is justified. If you're guilty of making a mistake, try to accept the critique as useful advice, even if you do so grudgingly.
- Will this solve anything? Annoying events that recur again and again can be a powerful trigger for anger, but remember that snapping at people probably won't change their behavior in the long term. However, it will certainly hurt your chances for successful interactions in the future.
- Are you improving the situation? An angry reaction rarely fixes the problem at hand. In fact, it can often aggravate the trouble. Your anger may set you back even further than the actual source of your irritation.
- Should you be helping them? Sometimes people feel angry due to an inability to help someone they know they should be helping. The lack of control can create a sense of guilt that eventually leads to frustration. Look for alternative ways to try to assist someone instead of descending into rage.
- Are you uncomfortable? Even something simple, such as an uncomfortable outfit, a headache, hunger or lack of sleep can make a person irritable and more likely to lash out than they normally would be. Notice when it is the discomfort that's making you feel angry, rather than the people around you.
- Can you joke about this? If you could step out of your own shoes for a moment and look at the situation from a distance, would it seem silly or laughable? Look at the lighter side of your dilemma and remember that humor can be a powerful cure for your frustrations.