The Correct use of Anger: Part 2

Use of anger


My earlier post focussed on one of the ways use of Anger can help you in your workplace, if you learn to control it. This is a different life-hack. In this post I wish to explain that if you know the correct use of anger even not controlling it can immensely increase productivity from your juniors.

The Upside and the use of anger

Your emotions are your most important assets. 

They are your best servants, but dangerous masters.

Control them and you control the world.

Let them be in control and you are finished!!

At times as a manager you feel like bursting out. I think everyone does.

Well, last time I told you to divert that energy to make it more productive.

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This time I am here to tell you that at times you should!! That will help you to gain control over a situation which, left to itself can get out of control. 

The following guidelines will help you if you decide to burst out. Even after you have correctly delegated, things can fall apart. The correct and timely use of anger can bring forth immense improvement in the system. 

It is not always possible to follow protocol or rules when you are angry. No, you do not need to follow protocol. If you understand the principles below you will create a work environment which will allow you to lose control occasionally and yet be productive.

To start with, click below to download the Captain D Graph of Useful anger.

Anger graph

This graph shows the psychology behind reprimanding a junior and the correct Exit point for you.

In understanding the rules below I want you think of how you deal with a child.

The principles are quite similar.

  • Rule 1: Love and respect must precede rebuke: 
    • A child who has never felt loved and does not respect you will not respond to your anger. He may be fearful of a beating, but the words you say will not be realized. It is similar in your workplace. A junior must have enough respect for you   before you decide the burst out on him. If you did not gain respect, remember that he is only responding to his fear of consequences which you can bring upon, your words are not making him realize anything. He is just scared of consequences he might face. That may make him productive for a while but that will not last.
    • If the fear is gone, the change will go. The use of anger is justified only if it is preceded by respect.
  • Rule 2: Ensure that you know the job yourself
    • It is quite silly to be asking someone to do something when you are not sure about how to do it. There are ways to do that – as a manager you often are instructing people to do things you might not be an expert on. But in that case, there is absolutely no use of anger. If you are thrashing someone you better be sure that you know that job!! Otherwise midway you might be interrupted by a basic question which may make you fumble and lose respect.
  • Rule 3: Treat your men like brothers
    • This may be strange to hear, but if you do treat the people who work for you as your brothers, be with them in times of need and help them out in distress, you can get a good audience to really listen to you when you are pushing them. A boss who keeps throwing his weight around for no reason but does not stand by his men when in times of need does not gain respect. He can get away for some time but ultimately will head for a snap-back from his juniors soon enough. Remember you are not that guy. This is very close to Rule 1, but is worth a mention.
    • Uphold the spirit of your organization.

Click below and download the Captain D Graph of the correct Use of Anger to follow this blog more closely.

Anger graph


Use of Anger

  • Rule 4: Give Clear, concise and actionable instructions
    • When you are angry you need to be extremely clear in what you are saying. If you are not clear, or definitive no one will care. They might seem to, but they won’t. Do not waste useless words and raise your blood pressure. Tell them precisely what is wrong, tell them what was expected and tell them that next time it will not be tolerated. Tell them things that are actually actionable, not something which is beyond their capability. And how do you know they are actionable? Rule 2 – because you actually know the job yourself!!
    • Here again, the Anger graph comes in handy.
  • Rule 5: Know how to Use the pronoun “I”
    • When a leader puts down a verdict as “I want” or “this is how it will be on “my watch”” it is a strong statement. While it defines that ‘you are the Tiger in the room’, it also creates a slight defiance if the other person has a different opinion. In the correct use of anger, the use of “I” or similar concepts should be used sparingly. Once at most. Do not force people into doing things because ‘you want them’, rather try enforcing the culture of doing things the right way because that is how it should be!! However, that said, since I work with different cultures, there are people who really need a defined command, and where “I want it this way” works wonderfully. There are others like East Europeans or Africans where you should avoid that word if you want to get things done.
  • Rule 6: Respect the people around you.
    • Like I have stated earlier, a negative remark creates maximum effect when camouflaged by a positive precursor.
    • Something like: “I had high hopes from you, but you are a disaster!!!” is likely to create much less encouragement than a statement like “I have high hopes from you!! Do not act like a disaster. You are better than that”.
    • I often use a phrase when I am angry – “That is not how I want my officers to behave”. It gives them the sense that they are better and should be better than others. I have seen some major changes in people when treated with respect before they are shown their shortcomings. This by the way, is true for kids also.
  • Rule 7: Do not be judgemental
    • If you know how to use your anger correctly, you will not be judgemental. Hit the system, try not to hit the person. Leave room for improvement at the end of the conversation. A clearly hard hitting and abusive statement can lower the morale of a person. I myself have done that mistake at times. But no matter how low the standards of your juniors are if they are expected to perform, they will eventually. Do not make the person feel useless by your words. Sooner or later that person will get to where you are now and will make you proud. No one is really useless.
  • Rule 8: Do not abuse:
    • We often use abuses to create an impact. Also, they help in giving you some relief by the embedded thought: “Oh I have given him a piece of my mind!!”
    • But abuses show your class. If you wish to lead, do not lower your class before others. Make your statements strong enough so that you do not need abuses to create an impact. Under no circumstances should you, as a leader be forced to use abuses, no matter how angry you feel. It may make the most loyal of your employees lose respect for you.
  • Rule 9: Do not push it
    • A short burst of anger is perfectly okay to have your people pull up their socks, But remember every second you are spending giving that moral lecture (As it might seem after a while) you are pushing a person towards the brim where his inherent resistance will take over and make him lose control. The Anger graph demonstrates this effectively.
  • Rule 10: Know the room
    • Learn to watch the reactions of your subordinates when you are angry on them. Follow the Anger graph
    • It gives a rough representation of what goes on in a person’s mind when he is reprimanded. It is important to understandORGANIZATION this and the most important part is the Exit point. The guidance given in the graph will guide you when to stop. Learn to stop. Like I said, do not let your emotions takeover and drive you nuts.
  • In the many years of my career I have come across some fine individuals who with their immense knowledge never got noticed or appreciated because they Did not know when to stop. This knowledge alone can fetch you respect and love of your juniors.

And more than anything, even at your worst, believe in your team and that their ultimate ability to succeed. Believe in teamwork. Lead by example. I have worked with numerous people of various kinds all over the world and I can tell you this:

Expect excellence from your team, settle for nothing less.

You will get it!!

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