Do you notice office tempers flaring when team members don’t see eye to eye? Everyone gets angry at times and an appropriate level of anger is a healthy and natural response. But when frustration runs high, how can you help employees to manage anger before it gets out of control and turns destructive?
Consider sharing these ten proven tips with employees to help them keep cool and get teamwork back on track.
- Breathe. Though your first impulse may be to lash out, don't. Just breathe. Here's a technique that is easy and can be done anywhere: inhale deeply through your nose, purse your lips, and count to five while pushing out the air as slowly as you can. Do this for five breaths.
- Count to ten. By concentrating on this simple task, you can calm yourself down and avoid being overwhelmed in the moment.
- Walk away. If you find that you are getting too upset, remove yourself from the situation, if possible. Go get some lunch or take a walk outside. Leave your phone and email behind. It's a good way to cool off and take time to think things through.
- Close your eyes. Cutting out visual stimuli can help you feel calmer. Sit quietly and allow your breathing to return to normal.
- Have challenging talks in private. Conversations tend to escalate when others are within hearing distance.
- Avoid sending texts or emails while angry. Resist the urge to respond in anger. Your tone could be misconstrued and you may damage the relationship.
- Use positive self-talk. Repeat a calming phrase to yourself like "stay calm" or "don't over react." Focusing on the phrase for a moment or two can help you cool off and regain your equilibrium.
- Visualize a peaceful scene. Find a quiet place where you can be alone. Close your eyes and imagine a spot where you are most relaxed. Maybe it's the beach, or the mountains. Or even your own backyard. Imagine the details. What kind of day is it? What are you doing? Use your imagination to feel peaceful and let go of anger.
- Listen to relaxing music. The soothing power of music is well known. It can have a calming effect on our minds and bodies. Discover what works best for you.
- Practice mindful self-awareness. Help manage your anger by simply observing your thoughts and feelings in the moment without judgment. This practice can help you recognize anger before it becomes destructive and return you to a calmer, less-reactive state.