Our first guest post! The publishing arm of the American Management Association recently asked if we’d consider featuring their book Conflict 101, we said yes, and thus received a free copy of the management guide. It’s an emotionally-grounded look at how to fight fairly from 9 to 5, including how to reveal your anger productively. We asked if author Susan Shearouse would be up for writing an article for WN. We’re so pleased; here it is. -HC
When you get down to it, there are LOTS of ways to get angry at work:
- The guy in the next cubicle keeps asking you the same questions over and over again. When are you supposed to get your own work done?
- Your boss comes in half an hour before quitting time with another assignment, plops it on your desk and walks away. Seems like he pulls this every week.
- The co-worker claims credit for the report when she turned it in. Say WHAT??? There would be no report if you hadn’t spent hours feeding the information to her, then editing her work so that it made any sense at all.
We can work up a good mad-on just thinking about these things. But then we hit the bigger problem: What to do with our anger once it has gotten to a rolling boil?
Blowing up can feel so satisfying in the moment. Just telling them what you think will surely clear the air and then you can get back to work. But it usually creates a bigger mess that is difficult to clean up. People’s feelings get bruised and a wall of distrust starts to go up.
Stuffing it doesn’t often work any better. The problem isn’t resolved, sometimes it just gets bigger. Even though you try to forget about it, the resentment lingers, lying in wait for the next offense.
There must be another way…
Here are some things you can do the next time you feel yourself beginning to simmer with anger: Read more