Getting the most from anger

Seven days ago the Leadership Freak community let loose on “Whining Wednesday” and left a record number of comments explaining things that tick leaders off. It was fun and educational. (It’s not too late to pop over and leave your own gripe. Try it you’ll like it.)

Adding value to Whining Wednesday:

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#1. It feels good to let loose and complain. Too much complaining and life goes dark. On the other hand, occasional whining lightens the load. Leaders benefit from getting things off their chest. I hope you have someone that listens to you – a person who is not compelled to solve your complaints and doesn’t require explanations.

#2. Anger expresses values. For example, I wrote, “It really ticks me off when those going nowhere criticize those working to go somewhere.” I’m angry at visionless complainers because I value vision. Here are some other examples from last week’s comments.

Suze Q is ticked off at people who say, “We’ve always done it this way.” She values adaptability, innovation, and the ability to change.

Jim is ticked at, “People’s failure to make decisions.” Jim values courage, responsibility, and forward movement.

Amy said, “I hate it when people who have known you for years, believe someone else who is in authority, instead of you.” Amy values integrity and loyalty.

Lynnlee said, “People with big egos that know everything, but don’t know everything,” tick her off. Lynnlee values humble leaders who listen and learn. I bet she is a learner.

Admittedly, my observations are shots in the dark. However, they illustrate a powerful truth. One value of anger is it unveils values and values drive life. You’ll understand yourself and others when you look through their frustrations to the values anger expresses.

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Can you list other benefits of anger? What other tools or techniques can be used to understand others? When can venting go too far?

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Leadership Freak

Dan Rockwell