3 ways to manage anger at work

People & Culture

There are at least 27 distinct human emotions. We’re dynamic beings who are meant to feel, even challenging and not so nice emotions.

The common emotion I support clients with working through is also one of the most difficult to harness—anger. It’s not difficult because it’s there, it’s difficult because it’s so dynamic.

How anger shows up

We all have the ability to feel anger but how it manifests varies from person to person. Some rage outwardly and others withdraw silently stewing internally. Regardless of how it shows up, managing anger is a skill that most of use learn the hard way.

Anger in the workplace

Managing anger is an extremely important skill—without managing it your productivity will be impacted, along with the impact you make on anyone working with you. Each time you have an angry outburst, the negative feelings from superiors and coworkers will compound.

anger carousel cycle


If you’re typically angry, or find yourself quick to anger, get curious. Learn why it’s there and how to manage it before you escalate.

If that doesn’t feel comfortable try these three steps to help identify, manage and reduce anger before you get to the point of limited judgment and communication.

1. Regulate

Notice what’s happening. Create a method of managing your reaction physiologically and emotionally. Think about counting to 10. It’s simple, but can work wonders.

2. Relate

Become acutely aware of what is rolling through your thoughts. Self-talk or any defensiveness will require some quick action to ensure you remain calm and non-defensive.

3. Reason

With a calm demeanor you’ll have a better chance at active listening. Listening leads to a better chance for a collaborative outcome.

Shannon Pearson


Shannon Pearson is a champion of culture and engagement at incrementa (un)consulting. She helps create high performance teams by connecting people to the organization’s DNA: it’s core values and purpose. Leveraging proven methodologies, she increases engagement and connection while reducing conflict.

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