Do you ever witness or felt anger at the workplace? Anger is felt in response to difficult situations where we feel undervalued.
Yet, maintaining productivity requires us to deal with our anger effectively. When people express their anger destructively, everyone at the workplace suffers.
12 Tips For Managing Anger At Workplace
Seeing anger at the workplace, no one dares to say anything to avoid getting into the conflict. It lowers morale, and employees find themselves to be in danger.
If you are an HR representative, don’t let your workplace suffer!
Take these precautionary steps to keep the workplace running constructively and professionally.
1. Develop A Professional Culture
Managing anger at the workplace is no big deal. You can do this by encouraging positive behavior at work.
Introducing rational problem solving is an excellent step to take. It’s a way of setting a standard for how employees should behave at work.
Look at your recruitment and hiring process. You need to hire people who have a positive outlook on life. People who keep a friendly interaction with other people should be preferable.
However, people might look calm at the surface, but they have trouble managing their anger.
So this is not a guaranteed solution for managing anger in the workplace.
2. Set An Example To Manage Anger At Workplace
It’s included in human nature that behavior filters down from the senior positions. And the rest of the people in the group get influenced by these behaviors.
If senior management is in control of their anger, the remaining team will do the same.
Leadership needs to be calm, composed, and professional. Good leaders show by example that what does an ideal behavior looks like.
It brings motivation in people to improve themselves and behave better at work.
If you set an example, it will surely discourage bad behavior. People will know that senior management doesn’t work on an anger approach. So they won’t tolerate anger at the workplace.
That’s why they won’t let their anger catch them.
3. Provide Training To The Employees
Coming from different backgrounds, we see the world through our individual experiences.
Some of us may never learn the right way to communicate. Some might don’t know how to respond in confrontational situations.
So there’s a need to set expectations and demonstrate the desired behaviors.
It includes both do’s and don’ts. Employees should get trained so they know not to react when emotions are high.
They should learn to respond in a calm way and report that behavior to the senior management.
The management, in return, should know how to take swift action. So the aggressive employees understand that the company has a zero-tolerance approach.
4. Confront Inappropriate Behavior
You must have seen the news reports of violence in the workplace. This is something intolerable.
Managers avoid conflict situations because they think that it won’t ever happen again.
However, it’s not right to sweep this kind of behavior under the rug. It needs to get dealt with the organization’s zero-tolerance approach.
When you confront an employee for his anger, you can coach him about right and wrong. However, if he doesn’t respond to coaching, then the time for his termination is near.
5. Anger At Workplace – Introduce Disciplinary Processes
Employees in some workplaces are habitual to work in their mode. They don’t get much influenced by good examples.
That’s why there’s a dire need to have disciplinary processes in place. Use these processes to document the behavior and to take necessary actions.
Discipline will help people to re-evaluate their behavior and avoid anger.
6. You Don’t Need To Fix The Person For Managing Anger At Workplace.
It’s not possible to change an aggressive person’s behavior by speaking one or two right words. So don’t try to do that.
Anger is deeply rooted in such people, and it’s not in your ability to correct them.
However, you can find ways to stop their behavior from affecting the workplace.
You can also direct them to some professional help if they are leaving a strong negative impact.
7. Anger At Workplace – Document The Incidents
You need to keep a record every time an incident of bad behavior occurs. Keeping a track record will let you apply a disciplinary approach more professionally.
When you discuss with that person, refer to the specific events that happened in past.
Also, see what changes you’ll need to stop these behaviors from happening again in the future.
8. Have A Zero-Tolerance Policy In Place
A person physically harming another can’t get tolerated at any cost. The company should have a zero-tolerance policy in place.
Communicate this policy in the orientation session, so everyone is aware of it.
With this approach, you can quickly terminate the employee and end the contract. Seek help from an HR professional to get through this.
It will also serve as an example so that no other employee dares to do the same.
9. Anger At Workplace – Don’t Take It Personal
Anger issues in people are deeply rooted, which got developed over time. Past experiences play an important role in anger issues.
When such people have to face challenges, they use anger as their tool to deal with them.
Although it’s an unhealthy trait, that’s how they function!
It might feel personal when such people shower anger on you, but this isn’t true.
They would have done the same if someone else were in your shoe.
10. Give Priority To The Safety
If a person is acting aggressively at the workplace, what matters is the safety of people.
Make your employees learn to keep a distance and ensure a safe exit without getting blocked.
Also, avoid showing any nor-verbal behavior that can get misunderstood to be a threat.
For instance, pointing fingers at an aggressive person or clenching a fist can get you in big trouble.
11. Addressing The Behavior To Manage Anger At Workplace
When an argument is getting heated up, don’t focus on settling the disagreement.
Instead, you can have a constructive discussion with the person. Try to calm them down by diffusing their angry behavior.
Keep your voice level low and calm. Ask the person to revisit the issue later when they feel relaxed. It’s the right way to deal with aggressive people.
12. Show Empathy And Try To Understand
When the person finally calms down, invite him to find the root cause of the problem together.
A simple method to this is to be calm and listen carefully to them. If you made any mistakes, own them.
People will respond better to an empathetic and understanding person. They might admit their mistakes too.
So pass the moment of anger with a calm and peaceful mentality.
6 Potential Reasons Of Anger In Employees
We talked to some employees in our workplace and found the reasons that built anger in them.
1. The employee got asked to do a task which he thought morally or ethically incorrect.
2. Employees got promised a project or promotion, but it didn’t happen later on.
3. An employee couldn’t live up to the manager’s expectations. Because his expectations were either too high or continuously changed.
4. The employee thought himself to be more qualified and talented than his supervisor.
5. The supervisor was a micromanager and criticized everything the employee did.
6. Another employee who was doing the same job was getting paid higher.
What To Do When Anger Strikes You
Here are some tips for the time when you find yourself surrounded by anger.
– Take deep breaths and count from 1-10. The purpose is to resist the trigger.
– Repeat a word or phrase in your mind that calms you down. For instance, “stay calm” or “relax.”
– Reflect on the method used by your favorite leader to control a similar situation.
– Don’t let your muscles tensed-up. If you do so, close your eyes and try to relax your muscles.
– If you feel angry after leaving work, change your clothes. It will help you to change your state of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Showing Anger At The Workplace Ever Acceptable?
You must have seen angry people at your workplace. If the anger directs towards a person instead of a situation, it's like walking on thin ice. Emotions are unavoidable, so it's fair to show anger at the workplace in a controlled manner.
How Do You Deal With Anger At Work?
Take a deep breath and talk to someone you trust. Please write the reason for your anger but don't send it to anyone. Seek some emotional support and recognize what triggers your anger.
How Do I Control My Anger Outbursts?
To control your anger outbursts: 1. Think before you speak. 2. Express your anger when you are calm. 3. Get some exercise to refresh your mind. Take some personal time and identify the possible solutions. Never hold a grudge against anyone.
Is Anger A Mental Illness?
Stress, anxiety, and family problems can trigger anger. Anger might get caused by a hidden disorder like alcoholism or depression. Anger itself isn't a disorder, but it serves as a symptom of many mental illnesses.
Anger at the workplace isn’t uncommon but delaying to deal with anger is.
Everyone wants to work at a safe and secure place, where there are no events of hostility.
If the anger of an employee gets left unchecked, the rest of the employees will feel unsafe. It can lead to a downfall in overall productivity.
Management should fulfill their responsibility to create a peaceful culture.
Employees who don’t respond to the organization’s policies need to get fired!
Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Last Updated on 3 years by Shahzaib Arshad
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