Are Emotions Driving Your Career Off The Road?

How To Defuse Anger At Work

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Are you one of the lucky ones that rarely gets angry at your boss? Anger is a terrible driver. If you are driven by anger in your career you always crash and burn.

We all have problems with authority. However, some talented, brilliant people have a compulsive tendency to always be angry with authority. That is obviously the kiss of death for their career advancement.

If you are one of those people, get therapy. I know you’re mad at me for saying that.

But how can the rest of us deal with the inevitable anger we feel at work so we don’t do something that’s damaging to our job or our hopes of career advancement?

#1 Feel It

John Gray once said, “If you can feel it, you can heal it.” Go ahead and allow yourself to feel your anger. A great way to handle this feeling at work is to not express your anger immediately. Go back to your desk and write it out for a bit.

Make sure you shred notes like this once you’re finished!


I once had a boss that rooted through everyone’s trash can after everyone was gone. Sad, but true!


Dr. Gray has a great prescription for us in his book, “What You Feel, You Can Heal.” It goes something like what follows.

#2 Play Fill In The Blanks

Complete these sentences:
I’m mad because. . .
I’m sad because. . .
I’m afraid because. . .

Write freely knowing that no one will see it. Write freely of how you feel. Chances are excellent you will start feeling some relief right away. You’re letting off steam so you don’t have a meltdown. But you’ll also start to uncover the source do your anger.

It’s almost always a desire for acknowledgement and respect.

Your basics sense of value as a person, a manager or a leader has been violated in some way and it hurts. It hurts, damn it!

#3 Come To Acceptance

Continue writing:
I regret that. . .
I accept that. . .

This whole process doesn’t need to take more than five minutes. Maybe we should write a book titled, “The One Minute Anger Manager?”

By this point you will have gained some perspective into why you are hurting. Now you can choose what to do, rather than be driven by your emotion. You’re back in the driver’s seat.

A Key To Leadership Success

It’s also difficult for the person in authority to not get angry when an employee is angry, right? Don’t they know who the hell you are? It goes back to your desire to be acknowledged and respected for your position.

But if you can see your employee’s anger as a cry for acknowledgement and respect, it helps you accept their perspective. You can feel a bit more empathy over their pain rather than focus on their expression as an attack on your authority.

What do you think? Share a comment!

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