And, what can you do about it?
times are fueling workforce anger, and
it's important to know how to handle - and prevent -
these frustrations in the
While anger in
the workplace is nothing new, mounting pressures
due to economic uncertainty, corporate downsizing and
people working around-the-clock are leading to
anxiety and resentment - and an increase in
been many times in my 20+-year corporate career when
I was so angry I couldn't see straight.
There were countless times when I felt
slighted, discriminated against, dismissed or
simply overlooked. I handled some of these
situations well, and others, not as well.
I've learned from my mistakes - and from watching
others' mistakes - and now understand how important it
is to handle stress productively.
The reality is
that we all encounter a variety of workplace issues
that upset us. While it's inevitable that
we'll all face some stress in our workplace - business
downsizing, budget cuts, looming deadlines and so forth
- it's crucial to address any issues before they become
overwhelming and lead to anger, frustration and
Catalyst only 29 percent of today's
workplace is happily engaged in their work.
That means another 71 percent is miserable, stressed out
deal with stress and unhappiness in different
ways. Some try to "joke" in hurtful,
passive-aggressive ways. Others yell or scream,
causing co-workers to cower in fear or try to avoid
interactions with these people altogether. Some
might be short-tempered and abrasive towards
others. Type A's (like me!) might have
unrealistic expectations of their colleagues and grow
angry and retaliate when these expectations aren't
times, it's more important than ever to demonstrate
effective leadership skills. One of the
key qualities of a good leader is knowing how to "let
off steam" in a healthy, productive
way. Effective leaders find appropriate
ways to let out their aggression or relax after a busy
day, whether that's going for a run, doing yoga, playing
with their kids or pets or even singing along with the
car radio at the top of their lungs.
If your leadership style
is rude, aggressive or offensive, it's time to change
management styles! The best
leaders motivate and inspire others to achieve great
results, especially during tense and challenging
But, as we've all
witnessed in our own careers, some people do not handle
stress well. So what can you do if someone
is acting inappropriately towards you?
First off, don't
fuel the anger. Don't perpetuate it by lashing
back. Instead address
the offender in a calm, professional manner.
Simply tell them that their (fill in inappropriate
behavior here) made you feel uncomfortable, and ask them
to please refrain from this behavior in the
future. It is important to remove all
accusatory and emotional language from the
If your anger
stems from being overworked, and/or feeling
unappreciated, talk to your boss.
Employees have the right to politely push back and
discuss realistic workload expectations with their
realize that employees can't do their best work if
they're overwhelmed. In addition, they
realize that sometimes they need to implement a more
widespread corporate change to make their employees feel
more valued and appreciated.
are able to adapt to change and set a positive tone for
the entire workplace. This is especially
important after a lay-off, when the remaining employees
are expected to handle the extra work that results from
a reduced workforce. The remaining employees are
often grateful to still have their jobs, and feel
obligated to work harder - sometimes around-the
clock. While they're trying to be productive by
working harder (and working longer hours), they often
become overwhelmed, frustrated, exhausted, resentful,
and prone to mistakes. They may be working harder,
but they've definitely become less productive.
realistic expectations regarding workloads and deadlines
is an important part of managing stress and workplace
anger. Effective leaders and employees
need to have strong negotiation skills and the ability
to communicate their needs and their concerns before
they become frustrated and angry.