I wish to break a rule here.
Anger can be very productive!! Let me tell you how!!
Well, it’s not rocket science. Unless you run a barn, you have to push people at times and encourage people to do their jobs. That’s the part which everyone knows.
The question then is – How to be angry and yet productive?
A 4-step guide to Reprimand People
Can there really be an upside of Anger?
Let me tell you as a manager – At times it’s the only thing that can get your job done!
But there is an effective way to get angry, and there is a self-destructive way.
The first can give you the efficiency and productivity you desire, promote respect with your juniors, and make you extremely successful in life. The second can spoil relationships, create a negative energy in the workplace and make you feel disgusted inside.
This is important, so please pay attention!! I shall take it up in two parts.
Here is part 1.
Upside of anger: The simulation
You are angry on someone who works under you.
Really outraged!!!! It’s a crucial moment.
There are two highly productive things you can do now. Both of them will yield extremely good results, trust me.
Do anything else, and it may destroy any chance you had to recover that person back in your team.
The concept behind the first one is turning your anger into something far more powerful using your intellect. That’s what I will cover in this blog.
Option One: Controlled reaction – The four steps
Follow me closely. When you lose control and shout you often actually have a point.
But you hit the other person in a way where he becomes inherently defensive and misses that.
Follow the steps below. You will say everything you should, just a bit differently.
- Do not talk when you are angry or when the situation can make him angry:
If you abide by the first part this sentence all the time, you will be leagues ahead of all other managers and will be extremely successful in motivating people.
I know very few people who can do this.
It’s not hard, people just don’t know this!!
Just DO NOT TALK TO A PERSON WHEN YOU ARE ANGRY ON HIM
The best conversations take place in a cool mind.
You may be a very assertive person who wants to show people the exact way he wants things are done. Just do not do that when you have lost your temper. It is one of the worst things you can do.
I myself have done it on occasions, but when I really thought about it, I stopped. Believe me, if you think about it before hand, it’s much easier to practice.
If you talk to a person when you are angry you generally tend to become more personal, targeting the person rather than the problem. Remember, your job as a manager is to eliminate the problem, not to eliminate the person.
Things which you will say when you are angry will not bring in respect, and hence won’t bring about any change in your junior. He or she will simply get defensive and stand his ground, leading to a more heated argument or, at best a passive reaction.
Give it a few hours, analyse the problem without personally going after your guy
– then call him back and talk!!!!
- Write about what you will say.
Now, do not let that anger go to waste.
Like I said, when you are angry you have a flow of thoughts many of which may be useful.
On my ship, when I see someone carrying out a job unprofessionally, I get outraged at times.
My practice is to pick up a pen and paper immediately. I jot down my points to tell him, but I do not speak to him immediately.
I have been amazed by how many silly things came on those lists.
But I did have some great insights as well. I could not have thought about them later.
So just jot down a list of things which you think that person should improve on. Write it in your old fashioned writing pad or on your net-book or cell phone.
When we work on a ship we have no margin for error. If you wish to know about how our work environment is, take a look at this blog. We really cannot lose control.
- Do not push a person too hard.
Push, but do not push someone to the point where he can fire back at you.
As a senior you will get the respect which you command by virtue of your rank.
That means: always remember, the person will respect you because he has to!
Do not take that respect for granted. If you push people to the edge they will surely fire back at you someday. When a junior loses control and fires back, all relationships end. It hurts team spirit very badly. Everyone has a breaking point. Do not push them to that point. Reprimand, but highlight the mistakes and not the person. Do not generalize a behaviour in him.
Even if you have to, prefix it with a praise.
Let me tell you a sweet way to reprimand someone: Camouflage with a compliment and it will work.
For example, a statement like: “I know you mean well, but I believe your memory does not support you. You have to find a way to remember things. Let me tell you how….”
Is much more effective than: “You always forget stuff! You cannot give excuses for it all the time. You should have learnt how to memorize in school. I cannot teach you”
Both the above mean the same. Only the first one starts and ends in a positive note.
That’s the thumb rule!!
Work with your juniors when they are facing difficulties and never forget the time when you were a junior yourself and had your own shortcomings. Do that and they will never forget you ever.
I know, because I have not forgotten such seniors myself.
Also remember not to shout at your subordinate in front of their juniors.
Just like you, they too have their respect to uphold.
Step 4: The finishing touch
- Never compromise on authority – Do not accept insubordination.
Insubordination in any organization should not be tolerated. It breaks the spirit on which any institution runs. Imagine in school if all the children started shouting at their teachers.
Won’t be effective, would it?
Following all the above can make you a very good boss. That’s not always good.
There is a point where any good Boss gets taken for granted. That’s the time when you must shake things up a bit. Show them you are not aloof, you still are in authority.
Off and on you will find people who will try to be over-smart and talk back. There comes the moment of truth for you. Do not get worked up about it. Do not lose temper, but also show them who you really are.
If you can do that in a cool mind, only then others will respect you for it.
Be stern, but not uncontrolled.
There goes my four step trick.
I can give you countless examples from my own experience to justify the above principles and how anger can help. I will someday. It will take time.
I have seen this work it’s magic through the years.
An example from my experience archives:
I had a young chap working for me once, very smart in his job.
He was trusted with important jobs and was getting encouraged by all of us. I was not the Captain then, but I was his boss at the time. I used to trust him with all kinds of jobs, big and small.
He started slowly feeling indispensable. One day he spoke back to undermine my authority.
I did get very angry.
But I did not react at the time. Some time later I called him and told him not to come for work until I tell him to. He would get paid as usual, he just did not have to work.
For two days he enjoyed the freedom, but then he started losing the respect with everyone which he had gained for being good in his job. Even his less intelligent colleagues started making fun of him. It created a strange drive in him. He came back to me begging me to allow him work on deck. That’s when I explained to him that no one is indispensable. If he did not know how to be humble and foolish at times, his learning curve stops there.
Thereafter he was a changed man. Serious and humble, never again over-smart!
People working for you are often young, just like you and me were at one point of time. They come from various backgrounds with different ethics and have been through different conditions in life. Please respect that and show them you are the bigger person here, even when you are angry.
That is how you earn the true respect of the team.
That’s one way to use your anger. You can use it to your advantage and change people!! They will pour in their energy to make you look good, and yet become more inspired by you. A Complete Win-Win.
There is a second option, though.
There is something else you can do with your anger, which will be equally productive.
I personally think that’s even better and more fun!!
Wait for my next blog in this series where I shall reveal this extremely simple trick!
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