Anger Management in Leadership — How Important Exactly Are Emotions Kept in Place?
Successful anger management is indeed a sign of elevated emotional intelligence.
All managers are people — we most definitely should never forget this. Along with all things human come emotions — for the majority of the time they are our proof that we express empathy, are quite aware of our surroundings, and are able to go beyond logic, analysis, and overall critical thinking.
Above all, being emotional is a good thing. A manager who is able to express their emotions when needed is viewed as someone the majority of employees quite cherish — it feels like having an empathetic leader on board who can always relate to what’s happening around them without taking the way-too-distanced approach.
But as it often goes in business, everything is truly about balance — while there are favorable emotions that draw people together, there are others that may cause disturbance and problematic professional relationships.
In today’s article, I’d like to asses anger management in the context of ruling emotions — while being an emotional person is a good trait, a balance is needed when we refer to strong emotions such as anger and frustration at the workplace.
Do emotions at the workplace help?
The short yet truthful answer is “Yes and no.”
Emotions at the workplace are greatly cherished when it comes to the leader showing empathy and understanding toward their employees. Numerous times I’ve mentioned that one of a manager’s most important traits is to be empathetic since that’s a great way to establish a strong bond between themselves and the team. This bond, essentially, can guarantee stability and a smooth work process — the sole reason behind this is your employees would trust you and respect you for the emotional response in you. Being a leader doesn’t mean being a cold-hearted individual — it means knowing which emotions would help you in the role of a manager and which would do more harm than good.
Being angry and easily triggered at the workplace, on the other hand, is a type of emotion that can truly make leadership and management hard for you. Why?
Well, for one thing, anger can easily result in fear in your employees. Suppose the team constantly sees their manager angry or furious over every little detail, then, with time. In that case, they will start distancing themselves emotionally from that leader mainly because they won’t be feeling safe and supported. Ultimately, this is the shortest path toward people leaving their jobs for good. Nowadays, more than ever, people cherish peacefulness and a positive working environment.
So the bottom line is this: when it comes to emotions presented at the workplace, first try to investigate the emotion and try to determine its nature.
A huge disclaimer here: there are no bad emotions since all feelings help us discover states of mind that totally deserve our attention. However, it’s important for all managers and leaders to try to find healthier options to express their emotions in order to avoid disturbance and creating a negative working environment.
Tips on how to control anger and frustration when at work — check out these 5 valuable pieces of advice
We’ve already established that we, as humans, experience a wide range of different emotions and should, by all means, pay attention to each and every one of them.
Accessing our emotions’ nature is incredibly important for our development and growth. Only when we learn how to discover and investigate our emotions, we would be able to fully control every aspect of our inner world.
It’s only logical for us to feel angry and furious from time to time — we are constantly under the control of a variety of triggers, especially in a professional setting. If we are leaders and managers, then we have a lot on our hands constantly — more often than not, this workload has the ability to affect us deeply. But expressing anger and frustration in front of our teams and employees is not a good idea — essentially, this behavior can cause more damage than good. So controlling our anger is possibly one of the most important aspects of dealing with our emotional world.
Whenever you feel angry or furious at the workplace, try implementing some of the following steps:
- Be aware of the emotion itself. One has to be completely self-aware in order to discover a certain emotion. Investigate your surroundings and what exactly the trigger is that leads to anger and frustration taking its toll on you. This approach can definitely help you to see the situation as it is and decrease the emotion’s strength. This brings us to the next step.
- Try to distance yourself from the situation and simply observe it. Being caught up in the emotion makes it incredibly difficult for anyone not to react on the spot. Therefore, distancing yourself emotionally for a moment can help you observe the situation rather objectively than subjectively. See the happening as if you’re viewing a movie, trying to be as neutral as possible. This can help you decrease the anger and frustration effect on you.
- Excuse yourself and take a moment. Once you feel the anger and frustration kick in, try to take a moment for yourself and leave the office space, even for a little bit. Removing yourself from the triggering situation can help you minimize the various triggers’ effects. This way you can cool off and allow yourself to further distance yourself emotionally.
- Next, it’s time to deal with the matter from a place of peace and balance. After you’ve enabled yourself to stay calm and take a more objective approach, it’s time to investigate the triggers themselves. This is important so that you can deal with the issue on time and prevent it from happening once again. Talk to people, talk to clients, and try establishing the source of all negative emotions that caused your initial anger. When approaching from a calm state of mind, you’d be able to come up with better solutions.
- Evaluate the entire experience. Once the triggering situation has settled, it’s time you evaluate the whole experience and learn from it. Through this process, everybody can further develop their own self-improvement tendencies — knowing what behaviors and situations push our buttons is powerful knowledge that can help us grow further and upgrade the control we have over our emotional world.
To wrap things up
While all emotions are important and crucial for our self-development, for some of them there are appropriate times and places. Anger and frustration are strong emotions that result from something or someone that has deeply triggered us, but is it a good idea to express them vividly at the workplace?
It’s always better to avoid showing our angry or furious faces to our team or employees since this behavior won’t do much in helping the overall management situation. Instead, trying to implement the above-mentioned approaches can in fact help us better deal with any stressful situation and result in better outcomes for everybody involved.