Managing Anger, Frustration, and Resentment on Your Team - Deepstash

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Managing anger in the workplace

Managing anger in the workplace

Recent research from Gallup shows that daily rates of anger, stress, worry and sadness among American workers are worse than over the past decade.

As a team leader, you are responsible for managing your team's moods without letting their anger impact your effectiveness.

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Stabilise your emotion before reacting to theirs

There are three damaging reactions to your team's anger.

  • Dismissing the team's grievances, believing they need to get over it.
  • Deflecting issues. First showing interest, but then changing the subject and not doing anything about it.
  • Defending. If you are emotionally distant from your team, you may react defensively to protect yourself.

Depersonalise how you receive feedback that your team is angry. See these inputs as data. Don't add your judgment or excuses to the data. This will enable you to respond more effectively.

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Lean into their anger with an intent to learn

Lean into their anger with an intent to learn

Accept the feedback that your team is frustrated without judging your team or yourself. Ask for more information, demonstrating that you care to acknowledge it. Then reframe the concept of anger as a part of the human condition that, when managed effectively, can improve the drive across your team.

Offer your team members a safe space to vent. Then encourage them to partner with you to find solutions that benefit everyone.

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Redesign team goals together

Redesign team goals together

Once you have de-escalated emotions, you can channel their frustration toward more constructive outcomes.

  • Helping your team redirect their frustration toward a battle that benefits others can help spark creativity around what changes to make.
  • Design goals that involve striving for success instead of doing a task to avoid failure can increase their stamina and grit.
  • Consider the quality of your team's goals. Are the goals within reach or so unreasonable that they will likely give up?

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Owning your part

Consider your blind spots that could contribute to their anger. How you engage with your team can increase the tension or improve trust.

Once you've identified your blindspots, be willing to publicly own the areas where you need to improve and request feedback and advice. This approach can shift perceptions from negative to positive.

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