How to Use Anger to Make You a Better Leader
The things I regret in life are often associated with anger.
How to use anger to make you a better leader
No one complains, “I’m furious. This steak is cooked perfectly.”
Anger is useful when it looks beyond ‘don’t like’ to ‘do want’.
Anger is harmful when it festers into blame, inaction, and bitterness.
Reflect on something or someone that makes you angry. Sink into that feeling. Describe what makes you angry.
People that make me angry are…
- People with hidden agendas.
- People who play office politics unethically.
- Emotional. (Outbursts and hot emotion drive me nuts.)
#1. It’s me.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Carl Jung
The things that irritate me about others are sometimes in me. Arrogance is easy, for example.
The things that irritate me about others are sometimes my opposite. I never have a hidden agenda, for example.
The first place to look when you’re angry is in you.
Anger expects things from others. Let yourself feel anger. Now ask, “What do I expect from myself?
#2. Speak up.
Anger gets worse when you don’t speak up.
Tolerance isn’t good when it comes to bad things.
One of two things happens when I don’t speak up. I bury it and it festers. Or I coddle it until I blow up. Both responses harm me and my relationships.
- Speak up with kindness and respect.
- Never speak into important issues when you’re emotionally hot.
- Use questions to create clarity. Maybe you’re angry because you don’t get it.
- Begin with, “I could be wrong.”
- Just say, “I see this a different way.”
- Speak to make something better, or don’t speak at all.
- Avoid defensiveness.
Where does your angry mind go when you pull it back from blame, inaction, or bitterness?
How might leaders coach angry team members?