Anger in the Workplace

Let’s take a look at anger and see what it is, where it comes from, who has it and what we can do about it and how it can affect the workplace.

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary “anger is an intense emotional state induced by displeasure.” As stated by George Anderson, MSW, in his book GAINING CONTROL OF OURSELVES, “anger is a reaction to an inner emotion…it is an energy that serves a purpose by giving people the drive and determination to cope with difficult situations.”

Anger is a response to stress and frustrations which we all face. Stresses are found in all of our lives every day. They cause us to react. Stress and anger are normal and necessary components in our lives. Anger is a secondary emotion which in the basic sense is one method the body uses to protect itself and its needs.

Who in your office is angry? Is it the receptionist at the front desk taking your telephone calls or greeting your clients? Or is it another employee?

Or is it you who may be facing the stress of a heavy work schedule with too many clients and not enough time or did you bring that anger to work with you this morning from another source, for example the mechanic who gave you a large unexpected estimate for an automobile repair?

Anger is a normal state of mind. At some time or other we all get angry. How we handle that anger is what could be healthy or not. If anger causes an inappropriate response such as verbal or physical abuse it is not healthy and if this behavior is recurrent it requires Anger Management Training.

Furthermore, if inappropriate angry responses continue and if your workplace staff or your clients are exposed to this behavior, you may face serious complications such as loss of clients, loss of business and revenue and/or employees, and possible lawsuits by former staff members all of which can lead to additional stress and frustration and more anger.

The Human Resource Departments of many corporations recognize the need for Anger Management Training for their employees who may be involved in recurrent angry situations with clients, co-workers and superiors.

Anger Management programs should include the following components:

1) Anger Control
2) Stress Control
3) Improvement of Communication Skills
4) Enhancement of Emotional Intelligence

These programs are “teaching” programs not therapy. Anger is a learned response (probably learned in early childhood and carried through into adulthood). By teaching new behavioral techniques to cope with anger and stress, by learning to communicate better and by improving emotional intelligence which, again according to George Anderson, “is the ability to understand one’s own feelings and behavior as well as the capacity to sense the feelings and needs of others and to utilize the information in a way that enhances interpersonal relationships,” then we will be able to control inappropriate behavior such as angry outbursts, rage responses, verbal and physical abuse.

And Anger Management Programs can be most successful with those individuals who have the greatest motivation to seek improvement. An employee in your office, faced with termination unless a course is completed in its entirety, can be well motivated.

By Dr. Steven J. Sinert http://www.nevadaangermanagement.com

Anger Management Institute of Texas is a certified Anderson & Anderson ® provider.

Anger Management Classes available 7 days a week in Houston, Texas.

Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Anger Management Institute of Texas
Diplomate, President of Texas Chapter
American Association of Anger Management Providers
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