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Why Anger Management is Imperative in the Workplace

anger managementIf you have a customer facing job, or even if you do not, being able to manage any anger that you feel so that it does not come to the surface while you are at work is vital.

We have all experienced stress at work that has had the potential to manifest as anger, but it is often how you deal with this that will define what people think about you as a professional.

Here, we will explore why thinking about anger management is important at work.

The customer is always right

If you are in a customer facing role, you will likely be the first point of contact. What generally happens in a situation where the customer is unhappy is you receive all the flack.

The reality is that in the majority of cases, you have done nothing wrong, but are being blamed for everything.

In this situation, it is all too easy to lose your head and start disagreeing, but the likelihood is that your company would not be very happy with you if you gave in to temptation.

In this situation, you have to remember that the customer is venting their frustration with the company and not you, specifically.

If you feel yourself getting angry, step away from the conversation if it is possible, this is a great way to combat stress.

You may even want to try breathing techniques if you can move to a place where you cannot be seen.

An outburst could cost you a job

The reality is that you have to remember that one single outburst could cost you your job, and this is why anger management is imperative.

While it may feel like the right thing to do in the short term, an outburst is never the answer when at work.

If you are thinking about losing it, make sure you think about the potential consequences first.

We have all heard of ‘groupies’ – those people who follow a band everywhere on tour, or who follow a celebrity, or who are members of a special group at school or university or at work  -those people are always seen together.

Did you know that there are also ‘anger’ groupies?  They may not know one another, but they all have an emotional response in common – anger.


This group includes emotions that reflect anger at varying degrees of intensity. This would include irritation, agitation, frustration, disgust, jealousy, anger, rage, hatred, etc.

These emotions are usually accompanied by high physiological arousal (e.g., tension, increased heart rate, feeling sweaty or hot, etc), thoughts of unfairness, injustice and wrong doing, and the urge to lash out in some way. (Distress Intolerance – Centre for Clinical Interventions.)

anger management

Groupies exit path

If you are an ‘anger’ groupie – this is your way out – if you want it.

You might first become aware of the presence of anger as a niggling sense of frustration.

If you focus in on this sensation and give it some space, surprisingly, it begins to expand.

Your body may become warmer, your arms might also begin to tingle, and you feel an impulse to do something physical.

If you stay with this internal experience and don ’ t try to block it or push it away, you may discover you can ride it out and tolerate it inside you.

Then amazingly, the feeling of anger peaks and then soon subsides.

Having fully internally ridden out the arc of your feelings, you arrive at a place of energy and clarity where you can reap the many rewards that come from being fully in touch with yourself.

You can then freely choose whether or not to take action and, if you do choose to act, how you would like to proceed and where you want to go.  In other words, you are in control, not the ‘anger‘.

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  • Balula

    I think we need to focus a little more on the bad behaviors that go unaddressed which tend to provoke anger and rage from other employees rather than asking all the employees to to tap dance around the one bully with an attitude problem. No wonder every one’s disgruntled at the office. The Gossips, the Slackers, The Talkers, The Complainers, The Whiners, The Grouches, The Know It All’s. These guys should be fired instead of expecting everyone else to get a degree in human resources so they know how to deal with people like this!

    • Hi Balula, you are totally right here. I agree that many people have an unhealthy interest in the affairs of others, and should mind their own business. Hopefully, on a person to person level, we can reduce anger in the workplace and make the environment a better place for everyone.

  • Erica H. Toronto, Canada

    A wise man once said to me, and please forgive the expression…. ” A man don’t mind shovellin’ dirt for a living, but for heaven-sakes, does be need to be made to eat it to?” There’s always that one guy that likes to show off, make you look bad, throw you under the bus every chance he gets- makes your work life miserable! You’re constantly angry! Who can live this way? I now work from home for this very reason. I am unable to manage my work induced anger.

    • Managing workplace anger is very important, and there are OH&S factors that come into play. Employers must have active polices and procedures that can deal with anger situations in the workplace. By working from home, your’e more likely to avoid those anger situations, and that is something to be celebrated.