I received a call this week from a gentleman in Texas who said that his boss wanted him to get executive coaching. I asked him if there was a specific problem he wanted to work on and he said, “I blew up in anger at a customer.” Think back over the last week or month. Did anything get you really angry? There’s more to anger than just what causes it. What you do with anger can make a big difference in the way things end up.Take a look at some of the ways people handle anger and see if you can identify your anger style:
- IGNORE IT: You ignore the situation thinking it will go away or decide that there’s nothing you can do about it anyway.
- STUFF IT: Your motto is, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” No matter how angry you are, you hold it in and say that things are all right.
- WITHDRAW: You walk away from relationships when you’re angry. You hold a grudge and give people the silent treatment hoping they’ll feel guilty and do what you want.
- BLAME: If there’s a problem, it’s always someone else’s fault, not yours!
- EXPLODE: Screaming, breaking things, pointing your finger near someone’s face, punching a hole in the wall…etc.
- TRIANGLE: Talking about your anger with everyone else–friends, family, co-workers, the refrigerator repairman, anyone but the person with whom you are angry.
- ASSERTIVE: Affirming yourself while expressing anger clearly while respecting the other person. This is the only style that deals with the underlying causes of anger.
The first step in learning how to resolve conflict is to know and understand your anger style. Expressing your anger in appropriate, non-destructive ways is challenging because it requires you to recognize your style and the impact it has on others. Strive toward developing an assertive style to earn respect and resolve conflict without leaving a path of destruction in your wake.