Anger Management at Work

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Anger Management in the Workplace

In 2003, Hollywood released a movie starring Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler, which became a box office; the name: Anger Management. It tells the story of a young secretary who has personal issues, and how with the help of his therapist, girlfriends, and friends he is able to overcome these. The difficulty to treat anger issues in a patient is greater than the way it is portrayed in movies. Various different types of personalities compose a workforce in a company; there is a buttery employee, who is always trying to please his/her superiors, the geek who is always playing games while at work, and there is always the screamer who is always in bad mood who might happen to be a boss or an employee.

The cubical world has found a way to boost the anger levels in the workforce. In this economy, organizations have no choice but to adjust to this transition; in other words, do more with less employees and money (Roller par.1). Situations like these can become overwhelming; therefore conflict and anger outburst will happen. Anger management is a serious issue that affects society in general, but on the flip side if treated correctly it can be managed.

Simply asking an employee to seek professional help to address their anger issue is not as simple as it seems. Employers have to be cautious whenever they wish to tell their employee to seek counseling because this can result in a lawsuit due to a violation of law. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), evidence for the counseling should be only job-related, and that it is a business necessity for the organization (Fagnalli par. 6).

Anger management or rather, the lack thereof can cause an organization to fail. Some people tend to get angry very easily, and in some cases their anger episodes spike down as quickly as it took them to spike up. The effects that an angry leader/employee can cause to the organization can vary in magnitude. For instance, some employees tend to deal with this situation by filtering information, like in the movie The Proposal starring Sandra Bullock who played the role of the fearless angry boss. Whenever she came to the office, every employee started to send emails saying, “the witch is here” or “she is in bad mood, and be aware.” Employees tend to do these things because they have to be cautious when dealing with an angry person, but they are not dealing with the issue; they are finding ways to avoid it.

An employee who has encountered an angry boss in their workplace tends to say that there is a lack in leadership in the organization. A study made by John Sporleder, founder and president of Sporleder Human Capital, states that:

a) Employees do not like to be yelled at.

b) Angry outburst can potentially damage the bond between a boss and an employee.

c) Employee who has experienced a boss’ angry outburst tends to stay away from his current boss; as a result of this, a gap between employees – employer has been created.

Baby steps should be taken if an organization wants to control an employee’s anger. In the article How to Deal With an Employee’s Angry Outburst, Ms. Wood suggests different steps in order to deal with this issue.

Step 1:
Talk to the employee in private. No one likes to be scolded in public, so it is better to talk to the employee in a quiet and private place, it is recommended to hold all calls during this conversation. Pick a convenient time when the employee feels less tense about the job; a less busy time of the day or when the employee has finished his lunch is recommended.

Step 2:
Give a feeling of mutual purpose to the employee. Let your fellow employee know that you will like to resolve this issue together. It is strongly recommended to use the word “we” instead of “you.”

Step 3:
It is hard for the employee to acknowledge that he/she has an anger issue. Give...
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