Getting the Most From Anger

angry bird

Our discomfort with anger speaks to its power. But, those who don’t get angry don’t care.

Anger is uncomfortable because it ruins lives. The term “frustration” is more comfortable. “I’m not angry,” we say, “I’m just frustrated.”

Anger is passion.

Anger is a gift.

“Sometimes, you have to get angry to get things done.” Ang Lee

The voice of anger:

Anger says:

  1. I’m not getting what I want.
  2. I feel powerless, stuck, or abused.
  3. I don’t like this.
  4. Something needs to change.
  5. That’s not right. One reason things don’t get better is we aren’t angry enough.

Anger motivates change.

Getting the Most From Anger:

Show me a leader who uses anger wisely and I’ll show you a success.

Focus and direct anger, don’t vent or suppress it.

Seven questions:

  1. What behaviors need to stop? Beginnings begin with stopping. Anger provides courage to stop.
  2. What do I want?
  3. What don’t I like?
  4. What do I value?
  5. Who am I blaming?
  6. What is out of my control?
  7. What can I do? Don’t internalize, over-generalize, blame, or excuse.

Foolish expressions:

The sad side of anger is it makes us fools. Regret follows misused, misguided anger.


  1. Reckless behavior, outbursts and temper tantrums.
  2. Intimidation, abuse, disrespect, and unkindness.
  3. Suppression.
  4. Venting. Anger is wasted when it’s vented.
  5. Raw expression. Anger apart from reflection destroys. We’ve all said things in anger we’d love to take back.
  6. Dwelling on the past.

Angry parents, spouses, and bosses abuse people. But, the misuse and abuse of anger isn’t reason enough to reject its value. 

When angry, stop and observe yourself. Will you be proud of what happens next? If not, ask seven questions to get the most out of anger.

What are the dangers of anger?

How can leaders get the most from anger?