Everybody gets mad now and then; it's natural. But getting mad in a work situation can create a lot of problems, especially when you're the manager. On the other hand, keeping the anger bottled up inside you can also create problems. That's why finding the best thing to do or say when you're really mad is often so difficult.
To see how what you do and say add up, rate yourself from 1 ("never") to 5 ("always") on the following questions:
1. When someone asks you if you're mad, and you are, do you admit it?
2. Do you resist the temptation to take out your anger on other people?
3. Do you work problems out as they come up so you don't keep things in until you're about to explode?
4. When you're mad at someone, do you discuss it directly with that person?
5. Do you disagree with others even when you know they are likely to get angry?
6. When someone is angry with you and shows it, do you stay cool and avoid getting mad in return?
7. When you're mad or starting to get mad, are you fully aware of it?
8. Have you worked out a way to express your anger without blowing up or being sarcastic?
9. When you're angry with one person, are you able to deal with everyone else in a normal way?
10. Would people who know you say you're more likely to try to persuade than to argue with those who disagree with you?
What do your scores mean?
If you scored 38 or higher, you've done well at understanding and controlling your anger. On the other hand, if you scored 19 or lower, you probably already know you've got a problem with angeror dealing with people under stressful conditions. Most of us fall somewhere in between—self-aware enough to avoid losing control, but still susceptible to getting our buttons pushed. Here's some advice:
Intercepting anger. Learn how to tell when you're angry—more of a challenge for some of us than you may think. Also learn how to admit you're angry. And be willing to give yourself permission to be angry; it's a perfectly normal human emotion, and it's an understandable response to many situations. Once you've consciously accepted your anger, the best thing to do at that point is ? nothing. Calm down physically, think through the situation, do a reality check.
Processing anger. Once you feel sufficiently in control of your emotions, talk about the issue at hand with a trusted third party—and be willing to listen to their constructive feedback. Make sure you're not displacing anger over one situation onto another, or taking it out on the wrong people. Even if you think a particular event is "the last straw" and symbolizes a whole pattern of behavior that's hurt or frustrated you, deal with one thing at a time. Once you've settled on a course of action for dealing with the cause of your anger, let it go. Completely.
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