All personnel get angry and lash out occasionally. It’s likely you and the line supervisors do too. Experts say it’s even healthy to vent one’s anger from time to time. It can also shield us from other people trying to hurt us or someone else.
The problems start when one of your personnel lets their anger get out of hand.
Rampant anger makes a worker feel like they’re losing control, almost like they are not themselves. It’s not the best feeling in the world. It often takes its toll on peoples’ health, work relationships, as well as their career. It can even get them in trouble with the law.
If you think you have an employee suffering from a hidden anger problem, you’ve come to the right place. Recognition is an important part of solving any problem. Being aware of their anger issues (both you and them) is the first step towards positive change.
In this article, we’ll talk about five signs that alert you to an employee’ anger problem. We’ll also discuss the difference between healthy and unhealthy feelings of anger. Once you see the difference, you can be on the lookout for and help workers control their emotions, rather than the other way around.
Let’s get started!
Healthy vs Unhealthy Anger
Before we talk about different types of anger, we need to learn how to recognize anger. You should also know what sets it off. Start by asking these questions:
- What situations/events/places/people make our workers angry?
- How can I tell when workers are angry?
- How do they react when they’re angry?
- How does their anger affect those around them?
Healthy anger is an instinctive signal that lights up when people sense that something isn’t right. If you see someone of your staff being hurt or treated unfairly, their anger acts as a catalyst. So, you immediately start thinking of ways to help.
Dr. Robert M. Fraum, Ph.D. says, “Healthy anger is deliberate, proportional, and responsive to a clear and present need. [it’s] a powerful tool of human survival and adaptation.”
On the other hand, unhealthy anger hurts everyone around, instead of helping. Remember, if you experience workers showing one or more of these behaviors from time to time, it doesn’t mean they have an anger problem. The problem intensifies according to the frequency of these behaviors and their consequences.
The following are a few ways unhealthy anger can manifest itself in several ways, such as:
- Passive aggression
- Verbal or physical abuse
5 Signs Employees Have an Anger Problem
If you’re worried about whether the anger level of someone at your workplace is unhealthy or not, keep reading. You’ll find five of the most common signs of an anger management issue.
1. A Worker Gets into Arguments
We’re not talking about casual arguments an employee has with a co-worker. We’re talking frequent, overblown rows with everyone s/he encounters, even strangers.
Not only that, but that person feels that they have to win every single argument. Not being able to back down from an argument has nothing to do with what s/he is arguing about. But it has everything to do with being more domineering and in control.
If these arguments seem to come out of nowhere and quickly spin out of control, that’s a sign that person’s anger has turned into a problem.
2. A Worker is Passive Aggressive
People often don’t relate passive aggressiveness with anger. It’s neither loud nor violent.
Yet, it’s one of the most telling signs of anger management issues. The problem is that workers may not even realize they’re being passive-aggressive. Not only that, but they may not even realize they’re angry.
One reason is that when your employee is passive-aggressive, his emotions give the impression that he’s in control. For example, he avoids conflict, he’s often sarcastic, or indifferent.
3. A Worker Blames Co-workers or Supervisors
For a worker blaming other team members for his work problems is easier than having to deal with them himself. While he may do this unknowingly, it’s usually a sign he’s not dealing with his own, that’s also a sign of trouble.
Another sign of an anger problem is that a staff member holds on to resentment. S/he stays bitter and can’t seem to forgive even over the small stuff.
4. A Worker’s Anger Causes Others to Fear Them
If one of your personnel usually overreacts when angry, this can make associates start to avoid him whenever they get the chance. They become fearful of him and his over-the-top reactions when he’s mad.
You may notice that when associates talk to one given worker, they never come too close. They may also stand with their arms crossed over their chest or they have one foot turned to face the door. This is their way of expressing their fear and anxiety when they’re around that associate.
5. You Worry about A Worker’s Reactions
This is both good and bad news. The bad news is that once you’ve reached this stage, it’s more than likely that you have an employee with an anger problem.
The good news is you’re starting to acknowledge that there’s a problem and you’re worried about his behavior. This is the first step to confronting him and helping him work through his anger issues and helping him gain control over his emotions.
A Final Note
If you or a supervisor notices one of your personnel in one or more of these five signs, it means you have an employee anger problem. His recognition and admitting it is the first step to a solution.
The next step is to seek help. Remember, anger is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. But it could result in seriously damaging his life or hurting him or someone on his team. The sooner you get him the help he needs, the sooner he’ll be able to live a healthier, more fulfilling life and you’ll have an overall more productive work environment.