We all try to be on the best of our behavior in our workplaces. However, anger is a natural emotion and is felt from time to time, even at your workplace. It is natural to feel anger as a response to situations where you feel undervalued, annoyed, or hostile because of something said by someone or by an act of someone.
When you are working with your coworkers, differences in opinions and fighting for your opinion are common. However, things get out of control when an individual loses control over their anger at work. In order to become successful in their work life, one must learn how to manage anger at the workplace.
5 Causes of Anger in the Workplace
A person can get angry at their workplace due to a combination of causes, and it is a totally natural human emotion. Usually, individuals at work get angry when they feel their self-worth value is being threatened.
When something like this happens, it is important that an individual tackles the situation tactfully rather than unleashing their anger on their coworkers and making things get out of hand.
Research proves that respect is a very important element in all relations. Whether it be a personal or professional relationship, if a person feels betrayed, exploited, or humiliated by the other in any way, it will trigger anger.
If we list down the common reasons that trigger feelings of anger at the workplace, the list will revolve around the following five causes most commonly:
When you are working somewhere, it is very likely to compare the treatment given to others in contrast with yours.
Common questions that would arise in your mind would be; why did your colleague get a bonus when you didn’t? Why did the other worker get promoted, and you weren’t given one? Why were you not recognized for your hard work? Etc.
These are natural feelings that are inevitable, and you may feel angry when you see unequal treatment.
Anger in the workplace is often generated by dissatisfaction with the system or how things are being done in your organization.
This is a major cause of anger at the workplace, which builds up over time, and sometimes employees are unable to control it. Anger caused by dissatisfaction with the system takes a long time to resolve.
It is caused by mostly three factors which are the organization’s size, increased competition, and performance expectations.
Workplace anger is also caused by dissimilar values among the organization and its employees. Professional values are often shared in a workplace, which helps in building a healthy work environment.
However, when these values are not met or are violated, it may cause anger. Commonly shared workplace values are competency, hard work and integrity. When an individual feels these are not followed, they feel anger which can become uncontrollable.
Employees often equate achieving goals to being successful at work. When an individual feels their goals are hindered, he or she feels angry. It is very natural to feel this way as salary increases, performance reviews, recognition, promotions, and respect are all related to the fulfillment of goals and add to a person’s career. When these are fulfilled, you feel motivated to work harder.
In the same way, when your goals are not met, you feel disappointed, which leads to feelings of anger. Moreover, an organization involves various departments which are correlated with each other.
If one employee in a department does not finish their work on time, then the other department is unable to finish its goal as well. This could also result in frustration, leading to anger in the workplace.
Most businesses have a hierarchical work structure which means that the higher level has control over the lower-level workers. In such a case, it is likely that the subordinate may hold grudges against the actions of their superiors which may result in anger.
Such type of anger often builds over time, and when it becomes uncontrollable, it may result in serious consequences.
6 Reasons a Person Should Learn to Manage Anger at Work
The following are the reasons a person should learn to manage their anger at work if they want to succeed in their professional lives:
Communicate their needs
Managing your anger at work would help you communicate your needs to your coworkers instead of ruining your relationships with them. Instead of saying hurtful things to them, you can explain your opinions which would, in turn, help in resolving conflicts and maintaining healthy relationships with them.
Maintain better health
When you hold grudges over little things at work, you feel angry and frustrated. This additional stress leads to health issues like headaches, heart problems, insomnia, high blood pressure, etc. If you learn to manage your anger at work, it will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Prevent social and psychological problems
Anger at work could lead to depression, troubled relationships and legal complications. If you learn to control it, you will be able to prevent such psychological and social problems.
Avoid getting frustrated
Anger leads to a poor judgment which is why your performance at work may be affected. If you learn to manage it effectively, you will feel less frustrated, which will automatically lead to better performance and better decisions.
Avoid addictive escapes
When you are angry, it is very likely that you turn to addictive escapes like drugs, alcohol and food. If you are able to manage your anger effectively, you will be less likely to turn to such escapes.
Avoid ending up getting at Court
Last but not least, if you are unable to manage your anger at work, you may take it out on someone, and things will become unpleasant. If things escalate, a disciplinary committee may take legal action against you for taking out your rage on someone.
In that case, you can expect to be ordered by the court to enroll yourself in a court-approved anger management class, and after the successful completion of your course, you must present yourself in front of the court and show your certificate to get your case dismissed.
6 Actionable Ways to Manage Anger at your Workplace
It is best to learn how to deal with anger at work so that you do not have to face any legal action against you. The following ways will help you manage your anger:
Think before you speak
One of the best ways to control your anger and avoid saying any hurtful things is to think before you say anything to someone. Often, when we are angry, we say things that we aren’t supposed to, which is why it is best to take some time to think when you are angry and be mindful of what you speak.
Take a small break
When a person is angry, it is impossible for them to think straight. When you are at your workplace, you have to communicate your point without ruining your relationship with your coworker.
Therefore, you must take a break when you are angry so that you can calm down before saying something. You could take a short walk or just let yourself calm down for a bit.
Start deep breathing
Deep breathing always helps in calming down when you are angry. Whenever you feel angry at work, you should start taking deep breaths. You will notice that slowly your anger is decreasing.
4. Write it down but don’t send
When you feel angry, you want to say a lot of things to the other person. But if you say all that when you are angry, it might lead to a fight or a scenario that would not be in your favor.
What you can do is write it all down on either a piece of paper or on an email or message so that all your frustration is taken out but do not send it.
Practice letting things go
A wise way to avoid getting angry is to let go of small and petty issues. If you practice this, you will notice a positive change in yourself which you will love.
For example, if your boss acknowledged your coworker but didn’t show any recognition to you, you can let it go and keep working hard so that next time you can be acknowledged.
Speak To A counselor
If you are unable to manage your anger, you can always seek help from a professional counselor. Anger issues are not good for your professional as well as personal life and it is always wise to seek help.
Anger can ruin your professional relationships and you can end up venting out on someone. Such behavior can be harmful to your reputation at work which is why you must learn how to control your anger in the workplace.