San Diego, CA (PRWEB) September 28, 2012
With October being National Domestic Violence Month, it’s appropriate to focus on the issue of anger in the workplace. While workplace anger incidents in professional settings don’t usually spiral to physical violence, and they don’t always have a domestic cause, there are some common denominators. Anger can have far-reaching effects on both careers and personal lives, something attorney Stacie Patterson, who specializes in professional license and criminal defense, knows all too well.
“I often deal with professionals in ‘post-anger’ situations, when the damage may have already been done and it’s necessary to reflect on the root cause of the behavior to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” Patterson said. “In one case, a client realized his anger issues were stemming from the lack of control he had in his personal life, and once he voiced that, his inappropriate behavior dissipated.”
No one likes to deal with bullies at work, but many offices have them. Most of these people are talented professionals who don’t know how to manage their anger—or even why they’re angry. They often have control issues, but lack the skills to implement their desires in a respectful manner.
If anger issues aren’t addressed, they can subtly ruin careers. Those known as angry people may fail to be invited to meetings; find their colleagues mock them behind their backs; and stop being listened to. Practice leaders may experience high and costly turnover.
Professionals are in the enviable position of being able to control many aspects of their environments, so that should help mitigate anger issues. One variable that can be controlled is the use of common courtesy—not being impolite to subordinates, colleagues or clients/patients—which can decrease anger-inducing stress.
The goal when dealing with anger issues in the workplace should be to address them with integrity. As part of that process, everyone should have a place to go to de-stress; some may opt for exercise, while others choose counseling, meditation or prayer.
Patterson suggests two behaviors that may help to diffuse or eliminate negative situations that are based on anger. She recommends taking a break instead of responding to a particular stressor right away and asking yourself what you’re really angry about, to gain a broader perspective.
“Introspection is a big part of anger management. It’s important to look within to discover anger triggers—which often have nothing to do with what’s occurring at work— ideally doing this before anger has led to mistakes and career-jeopardizing discipline,” Patterson said. “Those who find themselves in ‘hot water’ should be proactive, working with a counselor to identify the finite problem and the solution to it.”
Stacie Patterson is a San Diego professional license defense attorney. Whether you’re facing a professional complaint or a criminal conviction, Ms. Patterson provides honest, straightforward representation. She also practices criminal defense in the areas of drug charges, sexual offenses, probation revocation and more.