New York, NY – One of the roadblocks to professionalism is the natural and sometimes unavoidable emotion of anger. Aside from life and personal struggles, workplace challenges are very real. There are differences in opinion. Recently, the outpour of political opinion is one topic that ranks among the major tensions in the country, let alone just in the workplace.
There are cultural, professional, racial and religious differences which, if allowed, can create difficulties in teamwork. Attitudes and personalities are different and intentions are often open to interpretation. And quite simply, no one is above a bad day. No one is above having a tough time and no one is above homelife difficulties, which tend to bleed into work life problems.
There are the unfortunate occasions when people blow their top. Arguments are not rare in this world. However, on the road to professionalism and formality, the results of mismanaged anger can damage team spirit as well as threaten the morale amongst co-workers. Although intentions can be momentary and arguments might be sutuational, apologies can only cover so much ground, especially if boundaries are crossed. There are consequences to all behaviors. Even good ones.
The idea of reaching the best level of professionalism is not limited to the top corporate levels but more importantly, professionalism can be sought at any level of employment, which in turn, can lead to professional advancement as well as financial improvement.
To be a professional is to follow an occupation as a means to create a livelihood. To be a professional means to work and create an appropriate climate. Therefore, although stressors exist and workplace problems will arise, to be a professional means to understand ways to properly balance both workplace and homelife problems without allowing this to throw off the cohesion of the team.
A common struggle is workers tend to take the office home with them. Another problem is workers often tend to take their home life challenges to work with them. However, to engage at the proper level in a professional atmosphere, the need for personal balance is essential to achieve professional success.
Anger management is more than a class or training. Anger management is managing or directing the flow of emotional distractions by a means of strategic and logical thinking. This becomes a practice and a personal exercise. Rather than firing back immediately or responding out of anger or resentment, practicing a sense of mindfulness is a way to help keep ego out of the conversations. Anger is an emotion felt when something doesn’t work out or if it appears that someone has deliberately done something with wrongful intent. There are several places where anger tends to seep in to destroy the mood of the team. There are differences in professional ability. There are projects that went poorly due to the lack of synergy. There are loss of wages and layoff concerns. There is and always will be the so-called “Water-cooler” talks which feed the gossip mills and the rumor factories. There are inappropriate relationships and sensitivity concerns which lead to harassment complaints. Nevertheless all of this is a mindset. Therefore, professionalism is a mindset and so is anger management.
Anger management in the workplace is the ability to understand better ways to navigate through workplace difficulties, first and foremost, as a form of professional navigation; anger management is the ability to understand the working atmosphere. Take nothing personal. Act and respond professionally and accordingly. Take a step back before responding in anger because, of course, sometimes words cannot be unsaid. Oftentimes, words can be hurtful and dangerous. The ideas of separation and learning to maneuver through workplace interference is helpful to restore a better sense of dignity.
The plan is simple. Anger is a natural emotion. However, the same as a corporation does not perform well against adversity under poor management, workers cannot perform well against adversity if they fail to manage themselves properly. Keep life in perspective. Remove ego and boost connectivity amongst the team. Stay healthy. And whenever possible, avoid triggering conversations that can lead to heated arguments. Above all, it is best to learn ways to steer away from problematic relationships by focussing on the tasks at hand instead of the jobs that arise on someone else’s desk.
And lastly, sometimes anger is unavoidable. Sometimes, the best answer is no answer at all. Sometimes, all you can do is breathe because up and to this date, no one has ever been written up or sent to HR because they took a step back to breathe before responding.
Ben Kimmel is a proud member of the IUOE Local 94, as well as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Certified Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach, and Peer & Wellness Advocate. Ben can be reached at email@example.com.