Anger Management: how much can you control yourself ? Take this test !

Can You Pass This Anger Management Test?

I once worked with a guy who had serious anger problems at work. Most of the time, he was a bit like that Looney Tunes cartoon character,

Yosemite Sam, mumbling under his breath so that you could only catch every third word or so. But then — just like Sam — sometimes he’d explode into a tirade, yelling and swearing, and would storm out of the office, leaving the rest of us wondering when or if he would return.

And, of course, he was most likely to explode when we were all working on a tight deadline.

Everyone gets angry from time to time; that’s normal and healthy. What isn’t normal or healthy is when anger takes over and you feel angry more often than not.

Often, as with my coworker Yosemite Sam, an angry outburst is predicated by a number of other signs, including:

sarcastic, irritable, or moody behavior
apathetic and/or inconsistent work performance
making direct or veiled threats
aggressive and antisocial behavior
overreaction to company policies or performance appraisals
touchy relationships with other workers
obsessive involvement and/or emotional attachment to job.
Any or all of these can be signs that an anger problem is brewing, and could erupt at any time.

How to know if you or someone you know has an anger problem:

If you think you or someone you know might have an anger problem, ask yourself these questions:

Does the person often remark on the unfairness of situations or try to place blame on others? As in: “No one else has to stay late. It’s not my fault they have to pick up their kids.”

Does the person engage in bullying others or putting others down in public?

Does the person seem to feel alone or singled out by situations? As in: “Why are my suggestions always ignored in meetings?”

Does the person seem to feel that situations are always out of their control? As in: “The process is so complicated, there’s no point in even trying to get a reimbursement.”

Does the person get territorial about their job duties, personal space, physical possessions, privacy, or time? As in: “Who stole my stapler again?!?”
Any of these can happen to someone once or twice, but if one or more of these situations plays out with frequency, it might be time for that person to get some help.

How to deal with anger in the workplace:

If you are a manager with an angry employee, there are a few things you can do to help manage the problem:

Call out the inappropriate behavior and your opposition to it explicitly in writing.
Hire for an environment that values diversity.
Don’t let even minor incidents go without some kind of warning; anger in the workplace tends to get worse over time, and overlooking minor incidents can only add fuel to the fire.


Provide constructive ways for employees to voice their concerns and frustrations, like anonymous suggestions, or private meetings.
Remember that it isn’t your job to change an employee’s mindset, only to manage their behavior in the workplace.

Make sure you are a good example for employees of how to manage anger constructively.

If you worry that you yourself may have an anger problem, be sure to seek professional help, but in addition, you can try these techniques:

Take deep breaths. Turn it into a game: keep a deck of cards in your desk and draw a card at random, then take the number of deep breaths that’s on the card.
Repeat a calming word or phrase in your mind, such as “relax” or “stay cool,” or “let it go.”

Slowly count to 10.

Ask yourself, “How would my favorite leader handle this situation?”
Consciously relax your muscles. Close your eyes if possible and work from the top of your head down to your toes relaxing each muscle group in turn.

Listen to your favorite music.

Ask yourself, “Is my anger going to affect or change this situation?” If the answer is no, try to think of something that would positively change the situation.
Have you ever had to deal with a colleague or employee with an anger problem? How did you handle the situation?

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