What advice would you give to managers on how to handle the anger and negative emotions felt (and expressed) by their direct reports?
The Good and Bad of Anger at Work Andrew Cornell, CEO of Cornell Iron Works, understands the days of the screaming boss are numbered. He deals with anger towards his employees by holding frequent and brief meetings, “rather than ‘waiting until the end, throwing a nuclear bomb and leaving blood all over the wall.’” Screaming takes other forms too. At work you might receive a hostile e-mail berating you, copied to coworkers, in ALL CAPS. Science supports the many people who believe that “yelling” via e-mail or face-to-face is inappropriate and counterproductive. You may have been in a group meeting when someone was so angry he or she began to scream and bully another person. Bullying and yelling are unprofessional, are uncalled for, and damage the reputation of the perpetrator.
COSTS OF NEGATIVE EMOTIONS Growing research evidence supports the undesirable outcomes from negative emotions that we all suspect. Negative emotions due to organizational change, for example, are linked to more sick time used and employee turnover.
UNHAPPY CUSTOMERS MAY SUFFER TWICE Customers’ negative emotional displays (e.g., verbal aggression) have been shown to negatively affect employee job performance. Specifically, receivers of the aggression made more mistakes recalling and processing the customers’ complaints! You may want to think twice before venting on a customer service representative.
WHAT ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF ANGER?Expressing your anger sometimes can actually solve the problem. Your message is communicated, albeit forcefully, which can lead to better understanding. Displays of anger also are more likely to be beneficial if they are directed at organizational issues and problems instead of individuals. Being angry at the problem rather than the person is likely to be perceived more constructively and less defensively.
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