Anger Management Technique for Career Starters

What is your favorite anger management technique?

In the early days of my career, one of my biggest weaknesses is the way I express my anger. I wouldn’t say I am an expert at anger management but I do know that I have improved tremendously across the years.

I have even been asked to share my anger management technique with fellow colleagues when others realize that I had improved in controlling my temper.

Anger management is a huge challenge today for a lot of managers. The pressures of work and stress increase the incidences of anger being expressed in the work environment. Knowing this, as a newbie in the workplace you need to be conscious of techniques that can help improve your weakness.

The first step of any anger management technique is to be conscious of the situations that make you angry. You must remember that when you are angry and during the heat of the moment, it is a challenge for you to put into practice any of these techniques.

Therefore, it is important to practice and internalize any one of these anger management techniques that you prefer. The way to practice is to recall a situation where you were really upset. Visualize yourself in that situation. How did you react then? Now, change that scenario using one of the anger managemenet technique mentioned below.

1. Breathe, Breathe, Breathe
This is one that I still practice till today. In fact, sometimes I do it jokingly that I even verbalize the words, “Breath, Breath, Breath.” Now, I am not advocating that you do this. Of course, I do this in front of extremely close colleagues whom I have worked with for many years. This anger management technique calls for you to be silent. Do not react or be defensive with whatever that’s been hurled at you. Be still and breath. Feel you breath and count them. Try relaxing.

2. Can You Do Something About It?
This anger management technique I find extremely useful in situations where you do not get angry immediately. For me it usually occurs moments after something is said or announced. You take sometime to process the information and it suddenly made you angry as you analyze what’s been said or announced or what’s required of you. Since it is not an immediate reaction, what I usually do is ask myself the question – “can I do something about it?”

The rationale to this anger management technique is simple – if you can do something about it then why get angry? If you cannot do anything about it, then getting angry is not going to do anything positive. Why then get angry?

3. Is It Important A Day Later, A Month Later, A Year…
Take a bigger view of things. This particular anger management technique calls for you to take a longer view of things. I first read about this technique in Dr. Richard Carlson’s "Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff". The idea is this, in whatever situation that is making you angry at that moment – will it make a difference to your life or to the project (as may be the case at work) a year from now? Based on experience, I would guess probably not.

Sometimes, we are so caught up with our positions that we feel we cannot back down to see another person’s point of view. We think to ourselves, “we have to be right”, “we cannot back down or people will see us as whims” or “this person must have a hidden agenda.” Learn to see whatever that triggers the anger in a bigger perspective.

4. Dissolve It
This is my favorite anger management technique. It is also probably the toughest to practice. But in my opinion is also the best - as it allows us to let go of previous anger and deal with potential new ones. This technique can be used with all the previous ones mentioned here as it involves practicing the scenarios when we were angry.

We recall situations when we were angry, we could apply the appropriate techniques that can help us dissolve the anger in that particular situation. This works by - one, we get practice so when a similar situation happens again we know what to do. Two, it dissolves any past anger that we may have kept in us. This way we learn to dissolve past anger.

5. Slow And Gradual Process
Do remember that behavioral change is a slow and gradual process. You will need to give yourself time to succeed in changing your weakness. The important thing is to start and stay committed.

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