The Aftermath of Getting Angry at Work

Not CoolOkay. I’ve done this and I’m guessing you have, too. I’ve lost my temper at work. In my case, it was a telephone company, and I ended up screaming at the technician who came to fix our system, which had broken down for the third time. I must say that he handled me beautifully. Still, I felt embarrassed, overheated, and a little ridiculous afterwards.

What do we do after blowing a fuse at work? It’s tempting to justify what ever the incident was that triggered the irate response. Yet, we lose credibility and respect if we’re considered someone who rages without remorse. Even if the outburst is justified, it’s worth addressing the effect you had on others later.

Here’s my suggestion: If you blow up, first cool down. Do something to release the hot energy and calm your nerves. Next, make amends to the people who absorbed your fury. In my case, I contacted the telephone technician the following day and apologized for my behavior. If it’s colleagues you lambasted, tell them you apologize (not for what you said) for the tone and volume of your message.

Going forward, take better care of yourself and notice when your system is heating up. Angry outbursts don’t happen out of thin air. They accumulate. So use this incident as a lesson in prevention – see what sparked the fire initially, and take steps to reduce the heat earlier in the game.

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