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Three Questions That Can Help Reduce Angry Reactions at Work



Managing our angry reactions in the workplace is crucial to maintaining harmony in the company as well as balancing our business and personal lives. Everyone encounters situations at work that make them angry. What are your triggers?

Is it a Micro-managing boss? An annoying complaining co-worker that always get their way? Perhaps it's those redundant reports that are required which could be eliminated with one quick memo, but instead take hours.

Conflict at work is inevitable, yet learning how to manage and control it, and moving through those difficult situations is critical to the success of the organization as well as your individual growth in your career.

Knowing what your anger triggers are at work is the first step towards managing your anger.

Consider making a list of the things that anger you at work over the next two weeks.

List these three questions:

What was the situation?

What exactly was it that made me angry?

What was I thinking and feeling at the time?

After two weeks review your list and look for patterns.

Consider different things you could have done to avoid the conflict.

Consider constructive ways you can change the situations that cause the problem.

One quick method to control anger is to recognize the difference between Reacting and Responding.

When we react to something, we often do so quickly and without much thought, like a reflex. Whereas if we respond, we think about our actions before we act. Reaction is a negative term, such as when the doctor says you are having a reaction to the prescribed medication, whereas if he says you are responding to the medication that is a positive sign.

The point being, if we think about the situation in advance, we can plan a positive response, as opposed to a negative reaction.

We cannot control the way others are going to act, but we can control how we respond. For example, taking an inventory of what is happening in our personal lives, the stresses we have at home, and comparing them with those we encounter at work, can help us see how both can contribute to each other. It is impossible to completely separate the two. However, understanding how they interact can help alleviate the strain each may have on the other. It is easy to see how stress from home that is carried into the office can make one more susceptible to having an angry reaction to things at work, and vice versa.

Communication is very important, both in the workplace and at home. Whereas we may not feel comfortable, nor think it is appropriate to share our personal struggles with our co-workers, just having an awareness of how one affects the other can be helpful in reducing angry reactions. Being able to objectively look at how we react or respond to circumstances at work can eliminate many instances of anger.

Knowing what contributes to our anger, what our triggers are, and having a plan for responding can help reduce incidents of anger at work, and allow us to be more productive and secure in the workplace.

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