Feel Like Blowing Up? Here’s How!
I never met a leader worth their salt that wasn’t angry about something. Anger is easy to feel but hard to express, usefully.
Occasionally, great leaders blow up. It’s recorded that Jesus flew into a public rage twice.
The good side of anger is it gets things done in a hurry.
- Gives permission for others to respond aggressively to injustice.
- Authorizes the frustrations others feel but seldom express.
- Motivates action.
- Should be a means of last resort.
Admittedly, anger is dangerous. Blowing up creates fear, instability, clamming up, or blowing up in return. On the other hand, anger held-in leads to feeling helpless and depressed.
Anger rooted in fear and weakness is most dangerous of all. Think of a weak leader’s selfish tantrums over not getting what they want or self-protective attacks directed at perceived threats.
- Anger intensifies focus.
- Anger at things is easier than anger at people. Publicly express anger at threats, injustice, or enemies. You lose when you attack people.
- Anger points to what’s wrong; zeal to what’s right. Zeal to make things better is the useful face of anger.
Things not people:
Anger at an enemy galvanizes and motivates the troops. Your enemy could be waste, lost opportunities, or disappointing customers.
Go for it:
Anger and change are bed mates.
Is it ever appropriate for desk pounding, red faced, vein popping anger? Yes. Imagine a meeting where a leader’s zeal overflows because things must to be better. It’s not anger at the people around the table; its noble zeal rooted in confidence that the team can make a difference. “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”
You may never pound a desk but publicly expressing anger is useful when it stands on noble values. Ask yourself and your team what makes you mad. Is it time to let it out publicly? Could it be the beginning of change?
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I almost never disagree with guru Dan, but when leaders express red-faced, table-pounding anger – as good as they think their intentions are – there is a very real danger that as the message percolates into the organization it transmogrifies into fear. People who are afraid that something they have done or not done might trigger an angry tirade can feel pressured to behave in ways that are counterproductive or even dishonest.
The other danger with enacted anger is that – unless it is strictly an act being strategically performed – it can too easily get out of control, especially if others react defensively. Psychologists used to tell patients that they had to let their anger out – they stopped giving that sort of advice when it became clear that what was intended to be a vent too often ended up in someone going postal.
Emotional intensity is essential in business but it does not need to be reflected in emotional displays. When Dragline told Luke to “get mad at them damn eggs” in the movie Cool Hand Luke, he didn’t yell or pound the table – he knew that for them to win the bet that Luke could eat 50 eggs, his man needed the equanimity to channel his emotions to the task at end and that an angry outburst wouldn’t help.
Thanks for making me think every morning, Dan!
I can’t resist saying your comment makes me mad. Of course it doesn’t.
I suggest that a leader prone to flying off the handle builds fear filled environments. I’ll add that a leader who never loses their temper but expresses anger can have a positive impact.
Performance anger seems to be a problem… is it possible to feel anger bubbling up inside and make the decision its time to let it out? Controlled anger?
Anger, zeal, and emotional intensity all come from the same emotional bucket. I’ll call them hot emotions. I like the idea that anger can be expressed coolly. It makes sense and demonstrates a healthy use of anger that focuses us.
However, today’s post is about letting it out rather than holding in it. (Just so you know I”m not dodging)
I’m thankful for your contrarian comment. 🙂
Interesting distinction between the emotion of anger and the display of anger. There are some things that deserve an angry response, such as sexual harassment, fraudulent acts that put the organization at risk, or willfully damaging the environment. In those cases something spectacular and memorable can accomplish change and deter repeat offenses quickly. In most cases, outbursts can be more disruptive than helpful, and I would think it would take a lot of self-control to deploy anger effectively. I know I don’t trust myself to do it.
If you are passionate about what you do, then at some point you are going to be angry about something. As you have so eloquently pointed out, the key is to channel that anger to drive positive change. Great post.
Hi Manage Better,
Love the idea of channeling anger vs. expressing anger. Channel suggestion clear intent.
Another great article. I knew it was ok to let out my anger once in a while. Now I feel more justified for it. Thanks
Only thing more scary than having people not listen to me is having them listen. 🙂
I’m interested in when you think it’s appropriate and how it should be done…
I’m with Joe,
Getting angry at wrongs and mis-deeds is markedly different than condoning acting out. Emotional outbursts are inappropriate and a sign of a lack of self control. It’s like a runaway train once you say it’s OK to become emotional. Sometimes it cannot be stopped.
Yes, get angry – but use that to motivate yourself to reflect on why and decide on a course of action to rectify any wrong doings, but don’t use it as an excuse like Anton does for acting out. His comment is perfect – he “feels” justified for what he has done. He needs to “feel” justified since he knows it’s wrong.
Expressing anger and losing your temper are so close they’re practically synonymous. Once you open Pandora’s box, watch out!
Several have rightly indicated that expressing anger is dangerous. Agreed!
The addition of “acting out” to the conversation is timely. Thanks for joining in.
I agree in principle, Dan, but have found in real life that anger easily generates its own energy and can become hard to control. Not recommending anything here, because I’m not great at anger, but here’s what I’ve learned to do.
First, when I’m angry I try to control myself tightly, and speak less. That’s also visible, and people who know me know I’m mad. That serves the purpose.
Second, my military mentor advised me, “Never speak up when you’re mad, because you’ll have to apologize later. But it sometimes it helps if they think you’re mad.” Sometimes I take the time to gather myself, but then go out and express the anger I no longer feel.
I wish I was composed enough to use anger the way you describe. Your way sounds more effective.
All good points on controlling anger. I think they apply best when our anger boils over at individuals.
I’ll still hold that anger at an “enemy” can be useful. 🙂 I realize that’s just saying the same thing over again without any defense. Weak …
As always, you have my best.
I agree with your point about anger at the enemy. Shared anger that’s channeled is powerful, and doing that requires some evidence of anger in the leader. I think that’s especially true when the action needed is going to be hard and sustained – it takes a powerful emotion to carry the group through. So I don’t question your premise, just my ability to pull it off.
I hear you.
I have been following this conversation between you and Dan and I particularly like the post where you cite your military instructor.
I simply wanted to bring up for the point of the conversation between the two of you that I believe the level of passion (aka how much anger) you feel most definitely has an influence over your composure when you do express it. Passion is what we feel when something affects us AT ALL. Negative passion can easily turn into anger, rage, hatred, or other negative and “hot” emotions, as Dan calls them.
I also have anger problems, and I LOVE Dan’s suggestions to aim those feelings at the ‘enemy’. I also appreciate the suggestion to let others know you are mad, just not by yelling at them. Let them figure it out and they will stay out of your angry way. At some point, perhaps those who know you are upset will approach you (or you can approach them) and you may be able to have a civil conversation about what upset you in the first place. Perhaps, those same people have suggestions for how to change the situation.
Just my two cents! 🙂 Great following this post!
Thanks for continuing this thread and adding your valuable insights!
Love your blog, however I agree with the point you made
‘Anger rooted in fear and weakness is most dangerous of all. Think of a weak leader’s selfish tantrums over not getting what they want or self-protective attacks directed at perceived threats.’
and for me, personally is the sign of a poor leader. When faced with adversity a leader should appear calm and confident as ‘attitudes are contagious’ and the last thing you need in a major change program is the banging tables type of leader. Most managers can do the ‘stick type’ fear motivation however I am not so sure many can do the inspiring vision bit and look at working on this instead
I realise that you are talking about letting people know that you as a leader won’t stand for injustice etc. Disclosing feelings of anger can be done in a calm way using tone of voice etc. With some of my previous bosses a percing look
I suppose like any leadership style it isn’t a one fits all deal. Alex Ferguson arguably the most successful manager of Manchester United is renowned for using arger in the dressing room. It personally not for me. Keep Calm and Carry on!
Disclosing anger in a calm way can be powerful. My dad was a quiet man who never lost his cool. But, I knew when he was angry.
Frankly, calmness is a great leadership quality.
I think it’s also useful to make a distinction between being emotional and expressing emotion. The later is unpredictable the former is authentic.
Thanks for joining in.
Thanks for the provocative post. I’m gonna run on a bit with this one…
I believe that emotion should be celebrated for its important place in everything we do. But my sense is that anger is such an unstable force that it must be employed with utmost care and only by professional drivers in carefully controlled situations. No matter how much you have your own anger under control and have practiced (great use of the term, Joe) equanimity, you need to be especially attuned to what anger does to your audience.
I learned early that any expression of anger — anyone’s, including my own — required a “duck & cover” response. (Detour: Your artwork is evocative to me: I grew up in a town created to produce plutonium for bombs and my high school track uniform had a nuclear mushroom cloud on it.) So I’m not a good audience for even well-thought-out anger — and I truly suck at expressing it with equanimity myself. Tough to be empathetic with others when you’re digging a shelter for yourself.
Simply put, even I stop listening to myself when I let my anger loose.
That said, I have seen powerful examples of effective anger channeling. One of the best runners I knew in college had to hate the world before he could win a race; we teammates knew to leave him alone and give his spikes a wide berth on the track. I tried his strategy a few times — and I recall those races as empty victories marked by regrettable insults, thrown elbows, and running with the weight of an official warning of being yanked out of the race. The dominant memory of my last collegiate race is the shame of 25 laps of ugly competition against a guy whose tenacity I respected but who had on that day matched my anger with his own. I got an ugly win, we both finished with warnings, and I’ll never forget the searing disappointment of the officials and the other teams’ coaches, who had over the years been supportive of me.
Of course, I’m not 22 anymore. I have had to unlearn much of what competition taught me between the ages of 10 and 25, because life simply isn’t a competition. I’m more likely to cheer on a person who passes me in a race these days. But I still haven’t found a way to effectively channel my anger. Fortunately, I’ve done significantly better in responding to others’ anger (worked too long in academic medicine to survive otherwise).
So, except for anger ninjas, I’m afraid I’m not with you on the anger issue. But I’m not gonna get mad about it.
I’ve written before about the place of all emotions, and how I find it productive to see them as signals—as important messengers—that we might read, and then decide on what to do about the information we are gifted with.
That said, I believe there is a great determining factor in whether the impact of a leader “blowing up” is negative, or positive in effect, and that is this: if leader’s anger is felt as righteous by a significant majority of his team.
In other words, if, as a leader, I am resonating with a majority of my followers, (or would-be voters) when I get angry, then I will be seen as justified, and may even provide catharsis for those who witness my outburst… if it is otherwise… well, perception won’t go so well. I might earn forgiveness once or twice, but I’ll start losing folks.
In the end though, prolonged anger doesn’t seem to work out. In my experience fighting anything for long, especially from a place of anger, is exhausting, and exhaustion is lousy for creativity, innovation and, well, joy…
Best case scenario is always developing an emotional strategy that doesn’t allow the pressure to build to boiling, and uses emotions as they are meant to be… as a compass guiding us back on track to wellbeing and fulfilling our goals and aspirations, and…joy.
Best to you,
Reminds me of the bumper sticker ” If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
Anger is an energy. Route that energy for peaceful purposes to make positive changes. Lack of anger in certain situations = ambiguous leadership. Public statement of anger in certain situations = passionate statement about values and priorities.
Red-faced, fist pounding anger is a highly specialized tool in the tool-box, useful only in very rare situations, useless for most of our work, and should only be used by experienced crafters.
Anger leading to loss of control is strictly amateur.
Dan, I agree that anger can have a tremendous impact, but it has to be used carefully and has to be a rare tool. The leader that pulls it out of the toolbox too often will find that his staff sees him as an out of control task master with little regard for what is going on around him. There are sometimes legitimate reasons why things don’t get done the way the boss wants them or on the time line she expects. To get angry every time will cause you to lose your best and brightest because they won’t put up with the ranting.
An occasional, well placed display of anger at the right place and time (your example of Jesus in the market place is apropos) can do wonders to get fires burning and get the job done. I see anger should be a last resort, however.
Ya think you touched a nerve with this post??? What wonderful responses…For me, it’s less about a reacting to any definition of the word “anger”, and more about those situations(meetings, self reflection about a situation) where you as leader, manager, thinker human being, say to yourself, OMG, am I in a parallel universe? I’m drawn to past readings about The Abilene Paradox, where people fall victim to group-think that is purely illogical. I’m drawn to a recent HBR article by Keith Ferrazzi where he discusses “Candor, Criticism,Teamwork.” He states that the “desire to avoid conflict is understandable, but it is one of the most debilitating factors in organizational life.” I love his idea of designating a Yoda at meetings, whose job is to speak up if something is left unsaid or to call out someone whose comments may be hurtful or disrespectful…..
Anger, however you want to define it, is a normal and unavoidable part of our emotional skill set and leadership took box(yuck, how cliche!). I too believe that the periodic display of outrage, sometimes even staged on purpose, about an ISSUE, not a personal affront, is a very strong motivator and can redirect an organization quickly back on track.
Me again. I’ve been walking around thinking of Wordsworth’s line about writing (the core of all work for me) being “the spontaneous overflow of powerful emotion…recollected in tranquility.”
It seems that a leader’s role is to acknowledge (and, yes, model) powerful emotion, but to quickly get everyone to the “tranquility” part.
Again, another great post today, Dan. It takes a great deal of courage to bring up a topic like this. Especially one that really NEEDS to be talked about, but continues to be something that causes a great deal of fear.
For good reason! And that’s why it can be a bit of a paradox to contend with.
I believe that talking about the things that we are afraid to talk about is exactly what we need to be doing as a society.
Anger, like any other emotion, is not good, bad, right, or wrong. It is what we do with anger that can lead to damage and harm. Most of us were not taught how to safely express/handle anger. And MANY of us either grew up with someone with out of control anger, or knew someone who displayed out of control anger.
And THAT is what creates the fear surrounding anger.
Anger is a legitimate emotion that lets us know when one of our boundaries have been violated. Often these violations occur in children by adults at a time when they are powerless to defend themselves against someone in authority. Someone who is much bigger and stronger.
So where did all of that anger go for that child? Believe me, that anger is still there. It continues to build up over time. And grows with each boundary violation. In most cases, it is more common for boys to act out their anger aggressively. Whereas girls have a tendency to turn anger inward, against themselves.
All of these kids grow up one day. With out of control anger that is being acted out against others. Or turned inward against themselves. And no one wants to deal with the ROOT cause of the anger.
Anger in it’s pure form is a TRUE JUSTICE emotion. If anger met ‘true justice’ from the beginning. We would not SEE most of the violence and destruction we have in the world.
We need to be talking about it. We need really understand and connect the dots between anger and a lack of true justice in the world.
I hope this makes sense.
Wow, Samantha, that is deep. I LOVE it. This is clearly something you have thought out and it makes me wonder if you have any posts already written or that you might suggest to further discuss this issue. You have a great start to a much-needed conversation, here.
This really is something that needs to be addressed. Is there a way, as parents, to either A) protect your children from those boundaries, or B) to teach them how to handle them better? I know as a parent that there are some boundaries you MUST cross for your children’s safety. But, how do you teach them to handle that? How do you do those things in a way that is the least damaging?
Hi KEB. (I just looked on your website to see if I could find a name! 🙂
Thank you so much for the kind reply. Yes, this has been an ongoing topic of exploration in my life for quite some time. I am in the process of starting up a new blog. I may eventually write on this topic in the future, however I don’t have anything specifically written regarding anger at this time.
Boundaries are a wonderful topic to explore in conjunction with anger. There are several books written on the subject. I own a couple that you might find helpful:
1. Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
It also looks like they’ve written one specifically on kids you might want to check out, although I have not read this one myself: http://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-Kids-Healthy-Choices-Children/dp/0310243157
2. Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin by Anne Katherine
This last one was great mainly for her clear descriptions of what constitutes a boundary violation. She separated them by category: physical boundary violations and emotional boundaries.
For many of us, understanding physical boundaries is easier to grasp. The emotional boundary violations are more of a challenge and not something consciously taught or even acknowledged for most of us growing up. So this section offered some valuable perspectives on the subject.
In my experience, both anger and boundaries are truly evolving areas of growth over time.
Thanks again for commenting! 🙂
This is a very thought provoking post-thanks.
Coming from an organization where anger is used often, I’m not sure I can agree with you. I can see the theory that anger used sparingly may be a useful tool but I’m not sure I can ever agree with red-faced, fist pounding as the display of that anger. As the HR person at this company, I spent many hours dealing with the effects that type of display had on our employees.
I will have to think about this for awhile before I can truly agree/disagree with you. Or perhaps I just need some space from my old job before I can consider this without emotion.
Your post today was very thought provoking. There are two areas of concern I see with using anger even as a last resort. One is that some people just can’t deal the emotions of seeing others angry even if the anger is directed at something like corporate waste. The red faced, table pounding anger just causes them to shut down even if it is not focused on them. Now, instead of inspiring people, you are disengaging them. I think if you are going to let that anger out you need to make sure that your team can handle it.
The second area of concern is the idea you put forward of getting angry at things and not people. Most of the time there people behind those things. I was recently at a meeting with some clients in a regulated industry. What started out as anger at the regulatory process quickly became anger at the people enforcing those regulations. At that point I had stepped in to remind everyone that those people were doing their jobs to the best of their ability and were not the problem. It is just so easy to go from being angry about waste to being angry at those seen as causing the waste. It is a very fine line and you need to make sure that you can motivate the right people in the right way before you go down that path.
The trick lies in recovery of the relationship. I learned that caring for many, many aggravating foster kids who often wanted me to lose my cool, so their bad behavior was justified. Parenting involves leading. I developed what I called the CARE response. CONFRONT and with anger if aggravated enough.When done confronting ALLY with the person–most people really want to do the right thing. REVIEW–Ask if understand what made you blow; ask what need from you to do what is expected. END on a positive note.
“Controlling anger” or even “controlling rage” —methinks your id is cashing checks your ego can’t cover. Could get into the wording distinction of control v. manage. When people are really angry, it is very easy for that anger to overflow…aka angry mob.
We may be talking a matter of degrees on that emotional continuum, yet what a difference 211 is with 212 fahrenheit.
Anger turned outward (displayed) may ‘feel’ justified, yet how many does it take to tango again? If the leader’s ear is so untuned to cacophony, whose responsibility is that?
Joe and Greg’s points of experiencing the emotion in contrast to displaying it are well stated. Might add, that, the long lasting impact of experiencing trauma (often manifested as anger) is well documented (ACE study). Others have noted clearly about channeling the anger, again might have to shore up the banks with extra sandbags so it doesn’t overflow…and at what cost do we marshal/waste valuable resources for ‘just in case’?
Would it go to too far to say that the display of anger (checked or unchecked) is leadership failure?
Provocative post Dan! Interesting how deeply the responses have been.
Tactical use of anger is effective as long (as you pointed out) it is aimed at issues and not people. It is most ineffective when it is aimed at individuals or groups and is a frequent occurrence. My experience (unfortunately) is that those who tend to get angry, get angry at people (or at a minimum they leave that impression and don’t correct it) and blowing a fuse is not an infrequent event.
It’s helpful for me to see a continuum that might run something like this:
I try my best not to show when I’m just irritated. That’s hard for me because I have one of those faces that moves a lot and doesn’t play poker at all well. I’ve been working on controlling eye-rolling for 50 years and I’m not sure I’ll have it contained by the time I shuck off this mortal coil.
Anger feels different. There’s righteous anger that occurs when someone steps on my values and sense of justice. I’ve been feeling that a lot the last couple of weeks.
That kind of anger evokes passion, and for me, passion is more likely to be the emotion that gets me red-faced and table-pounding. If I’m stirred enough to bring the kind of intensity that commands the room, it’s probably passion that’s stirring it. Anger is the signal to me that my passion is evoked, and passion is a tremendous force for positive change. Passion is anger channeled for change, and the way we display it involves a choice. Once we are in choice, we are also in control of ourselves and are creating a safe and courageous space for others to enter in.
Rage is uncontrolled anger. It’s the lack of control that feel dangerous and makes people feel unsafe. Frequent rage is something to seek therapy about.
Controlled fist-pounding = passion (can be channeled and empowering, especially with a good coach in your corner)
Uncontrolled fist-pounding = rage (can’t be channeled, is almost always destructive, scares others, and disempowers everyone)
ACK! I accidentally used an HTML tag, and I can’t go back and edit! Let’s try this.
I lost, many times, my calm and exploded in front of my workers. Ironically, nothing change for better, they became afraid, hiding things in my appearance and I lost their confidence which I spent more time to restore it back.
Ever since, I learnt how to CONTROL it better than EXPRESS it.
When I have analyzed anger, my own or someone else’s, it’s usually for a selfish reason. Very rarely, if ever, is what you claim to be angry about, really the issue at all. Anger stems from feeling a loss of control over a situation. When the loss of control is over “someone” the anger gets personal. Therefore, anger typically needs to be analyzed by the person expressing it, and then understand what is making you angry, and get real about who is really at fault…and for heaven’s sake, figure out what is making you so angry in the first place and then get a grip!
I agree it is not possible to analyze someone else’s anger, and I would not recommend us “analyzing” our own. I WOULD recommend FOLLOWING it to where it came from, and then following from there, and again, until we get to beliefs or expectations or in some cases, the release of the above, that the anger is meaningful in relation too. Then we can choose the same, or anew, but we know something we didn’t before.
We might even view anger in some situations as TAKING CONTROL, as in a break out of despair/depression. Anger is actually an IMPROVEMENT out of depression (though onlookers may not see it that way, anger is a powerful way of rejecting limiting, false, beliefs that may have trapped one in despair, until that person refused to entertain that entrapment any longer, regardless of the approval of onlookers).
Mark, I agree with your take on depression. Which is anger turned inward against oneself. And yes! When a depressed person begins to feel anger, this is actually a step OUT of depression and is a GOOD thing. However, there is a caveat to this as well. The powerful energy can feel really overwhelming when it has been suppressed over long periods of time.
I’m not really sure what you mean about ‘not recommend us analyzing our own’, however I agree that as adults, it is very helpful to follow it all the way back to the original source. Which, from the perspective I addressed in my original comment above, usually stems in childhood for many people.
Out of control anger, or rage, as Jeanny pointed out is really a good indicator of unfinished business. That is crying out to be resolved.
Chameli Ardugh, from Awakening Women, spoke for a TedTalk on the subject of women and anger. (feminine rage) Although her focus was on women, her core message is applicable to all in that we ALL experience anger at some point.
She asks, how do we stay awake in the midst of the storm? In the midst of our anger, which is a very powerful emotion. She then shares a story from Hindu mythology that gives an illustration of righteous anger that turns out of control. And what happens when rage is met with conscious presence. And this is what was the key to the whole issue of anger.
Unconscious anger without presence leads to destruction.
Conscious anger combined WITH conscious presence leads to medicine.
Thanks for your insights that spurred more thought on this subject Mark.
Samantha, thank you for your thoughtful reply, which IMHO adds much additional dimension your original entry!
It appears that we are closely aligned here. What I meant by “not analyze our own” is not to coldly consider it as if it is something that happened to us, or must be fixed, but to seek understanding and from that understanding find the new choices of thought that will heal. I was attempting to make an attitude distinction that I could have made more clearly.
I also understand your point about anger intensity after despair, and do not consider anger as a health destination, but only a waypoint onto more expansive states, when managed appropriately.
In my experience, our emotions are not toying with us: they have important information. There is no mistake when it comes to the feeling itself, the mistakes are usually in how we interpret or handle them. You have a assumption, belief or thought? You will have an emotion generated from it in interaction with your living. In that sense, there are no false emotions, only assumptions, beliefs, and thoughts that either work for us or don’t—and of course false beliefs and cognitive distortions.
One area where we might differ: I no longer believe that we must know exactly what event or trauma might have caused any kind of habitual emotional reaction, although this may prove helpful for some people in their own personal exploration. I am finding more and more that dealing with whatever habitual thoughts a particular experience might have produced is often more effective… literally changing a habit of thought, which ultimately lessons the hold of whatever the cause was—even if we don’t know it. Of course, this kind of practice requires earnest desire and regular attention in order to work—and coaching helps.
Thank you again for your reply!
Some additional disadvantages..
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Prov 18:21
Let me say when people get angry it is easy to say things they shouldn’t and destroy a trust or respect they worked to build… It only takes a few minutes to cause devastation in your relationships.
I witnessed this very thing this morning, two coworkers lashed out at each other in front of their department workers… Both said words they shouldn’t have said, both lost trust among each other, both lost respect for each other, and mostly lost it from others around them as well. Now they have to rebuild that trust and respect. Going to take a while…
Passage to live by:
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19
Not to say anger can’t be used for good, I think there is good anger but as wisdom given from the Bible… slow to anger
In reply to Mark Petruzzi:
Excellent insights into the discussion, Mark.
You’ve hit the nail on the head when you mentioned understanding for the purpose of healing. That’s the whole point and purpose of discussion, IMHO. 🙂
We get to the healing when we are open to exploring it. And as you brought up, it’s an individual thing. Meaning, when someone is ready to take an honest look at it and have the resources to deal with it. Goal: To heal.
That’s why I’m GLAD Dan brought up this subject today. Even if all of us can’t agree on 100% of the issue. It allows us to look at it from not only our own ground zero perspectives since just the topic can trigger all kinds of emotions based on our own personal experiences. Yet, we can also look at it from the 30,000 ft level too. Which for me, I tend to vacillate back and forth between the two. How it has impacted me personally in my life. Then I tend to look at the larger picture. i.e. impact from family, school, organizations, to how a country deals with it, and globally, etc.
All of our perspectives bring another needed piece to the puzzle so we have a better look at it as a whole.
And yes, I agree with you as well on how our emotions are messengers that provide us with valuable information. They are indicators that something outside of us, or something inside of us (our thoughts/belief clusters) are out of alignment with our highest good. They are invitations to pay attention to what is going on around us and within us.
Your last paragraph: Again, you have brought up good food for thought. I’m still personally up in the air on this myself. As is the psychological community. I DO know that digging up anything and everything from the past releases too much energy in the mind and body that can lead to a great deal of damage. So I certainly don’t recommend doing a total ‘dig’. From my perspective, I have only found it helpful when it comes to a BIG event in childhood that has gone unresolved and is still doing damage as an adult in not addressing it. And I was referring to cases of projection on the issue of anger. i.e. a person projecting anger onto another in the present could really be still harboring anger at someone from the past.
Loved your additions to the conversation Mark. Thank you.
Hi from Sydney Australia
Dan, thanks for your very helpful advice which I nearly always pass on to my team – but not this one on ‘feel like blowing up’.
In my view anger is a sign of many things but most importantly it’s a sign of a weakness which is often difficult for the recipient to identify and correctly understand.
My recommendation is for leaders to morph their anger into PASSION (with a smile): its worked wonders in my business and my 42 year old happy marriage.
Passion is a positive energy, anger its negative cousin.
Just my thoughts.
Intensity and passion matter. Knowing when to let it go and listen also matter.
Wow.. love the comments. I wrote a paper in college about the difference between the way Jesus was portrayed in the book of Mark (written for the masses, Jesus gets angry in this one) and the way he was portrayed in Romans (written by Paul for the educated elite) I tend to relate to the anger… shows the boss is human and passionate.
Thanks for this post… very interesting..
Thank you Dan for sharing your insight.
It gave me a new/deeper view…especially with Jesus turning the tables.