come on, nancy!

I don’t mean to be a Negative Nancy, but I’m going to go there, let’s talk about the dark stuff. There’s no reason to sugar coat it; work is inherently stressful. There are deadlines, budgets, people, decisions – no matter how much you love your job, from time to time, there’s going to be something that just gets under your skin and makes you angry.

You know what? That’s OK. It’s normal. I daresay, it’s even healthy. If you aren’t getting angry every once and a while, it probably means you just don’t care. However, that’s another issue, for another post.


I’m not suggesting that it’s OK for your employees to be running around huffing and puffing in rage 24/7. In fact, just the opposite. As leaders, it’s our job to help manage the anger levels of our employees. Men who suppress anger at work are two to five times more likely to suffer a heart attack or die from heart disease than those who express it, says a study by Swedish researchers, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

I think we can all agree heart attacks are bad. Having your team running around chewing each other out all of the time to release anger is also bad. So what do you do? Here are a few ways you can channel that anger into action and positive change.

Schedule Regular Check-Ins

Not all employees are going to feel comfortable airing their frustrations with their boss, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give them the opportunity to be heard if they want to do so. Regularly schedule time with everyone you manage. Put it on your calendar, and follow through with it! Even if it’s only 15 minutes. Maybe it’s coffee or lunch. You can make it as formal or as informal as what works for you and your organization, but it’s extremely important to have that one-on-one time for open and honest communication. Also, keep the focus on the individual. This is their opportunity to be heard, so make sure you are giving the opportunity to talk.

Provide a Safe Place to Vent

It’s one thing to have your team vent to each other or their family, but when their emotions bubble over and start impacting relationships within your organization, or even worse customers, then you have a bit of a problem on your hands. Solve it before it starts. Give your employees a place where they are encouraged to vent! Let them know exactly where and when it’s appropriate to let it all out. Even better, provide them a way to do so that’s completely anonymous and has a direct line to the leadership team who can turn their issue into action. (Hint, hint – try Teamphoria!)

Open Your Eyes

And I mean that in the sincerest, not-rude way possible. It’s easy to stay heads down at your desk, chugging your way through the daily grind, but sometimes, you just need to pick your head up. Take a look at your team. How are they operating? Do they appear stressed or angry? Look for visual cues like body language, messy desks, and other little things that can serve as warning signs to managers. Take time to address potential issues before they they get out of control.

Most importantly, if someone shows a little too much emotion at work, don’t over react. We are human, and stress is bound to get the best of us every now and again.

How do you deal with frustration in the workplace?

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