The Point: What does success look like in business from a leadership perspective? In other words, if you could capture a moment, similar to a photo, what would the image consist of and what would the participants be doing? I asked several leaders this question at a recent group executive coaching session. Their responses were mostly positive, ranging from ringing the NYSE opening bell to popping champagne bottles. All participants were smiling from ear-to-ear regardless! Except one participant who had a dramatically different glimpse into success… an angry image! In this post, we take a look at Anger Management to drive leadership success and five (5) tips to assist you… Enjoy!
Because I’m Happy…
We often think of Anger Management as a process of learning how recognize signs of encroaching anger and taking the necessary steps calm oneself so as to deal effectively with the situation in a positive manner. So (1) recognition and (2) steps to calm the anger… Sounds pretty simple, right? If you’re in control of yourself and put yourself in the right situation, this shouldn’t be that hard of a task (Control Yourself + Control the Environment = Successful Leader!)
However, in business you rarely have the opportunity to have 100% control of your environment. Given a leader and their abilities and a bad environment, I’ll bet on the environment winning out each/every time. While anger management might attempt to provide the coping mechanisms during the leadership challenge, there still is no way to ensure that the environment a leader operates in will cooperate. Pharrell might have sang about happiness, but he probably wasn’t talking about leadership at work!
5 Tips to Tame Your Temper
The leader I mentioned in The Point opening could be seen in each of us. Mild mannered “Clark Kent” in some moments, Incredible Hulk (NOT Superman) in others. Typically, he was seen as the mild version, until the situation got challenging.
If you’ve been a leader for awhile, or are a first-time leader receiving leadership development training and executive coaching, you know how to handle moments of low conflict. It’s during moments of high conflict though where all of the mild mannered moments are thrown out the window!
Here then are five (5) tips to take your temper, and make the leadership challenge of anger management a little easier to manager:
Anger Management Tip #1: Know Yourself
Shakespeare wrote “To thine own self be true.” Knowing yourself as well as what might “trigger” you into moments of rage is a great first step to either identify an avoidance plan or preparation routine. Hogan Assessments has created a fantastic individual behavioral assessment that shares with you your strengths/weaknesses during such moments of anger.
Anger Management Tip #2: Think then Speak
Leaders that have limited filters already play shorthanded. Leaders that similarly have little/no filter between their thoughts and speaking often find themselves in similar straights. Give yourself a moment by taking a deep breath before responding. Practice in your executive coaching sessions!
Anger Management Tip #3: Exercise
Nothing reduces stress like a good workout. Take a walk in the woods, or a walk on the treadmill. The health benefits can help propel you into positive territory in more ways than one.
Anger Management Tip #4: ID Solutions
As a leader, you’re hopefully solutions focused. Know that the majority of anger moments stem from problems. Problems that you may have caused, known little about, etc. Regardless, focusing on solutions rather than problems is a best practice. Leadership development sessions should equip you with several solution generating practices.
Anger Management Tip #5: Express Anger Later
After the anger “storm” has passed, gather the troops and share anger moments with them. This act of transparency will provide those that work with you a glimpse inside how you operate, and will also set the tone for future moments.
In summary, I’ve seen a lot of leaders that perceive that they simply operate better when they are angry. That’s nonsense… The only person that probably believes/likes their angry moments is themselves. The five (5) tips for anger management should be reviewed/implemented to overcome anger and move to positive moments, like champagne bottle popping!