A Good Mad is a Terrible Thing To Waste

Are you good at angry? Or, do you waste your “mads?” Angry informs. Angry teaches. Mad makes us care. Unless it doesn’t.

Use anger to fuel passions and accomplish change. Don’t respond with frustration, outbursts, or retaliation. All you’ll have then is embarrassment, regrets and apologies.

When you are really ticked off, don’t just get mad get thinking.

4 Ways to Use Your Mad

1. Understand Your Inner Mad

Try studying and documenting your anger for 2 weeks (10 Ways to Manage Anger at Work)

“What was the situation?”
“What disturbed me, put me off, or made me genuinely angry?” (This could be an action, way of behaving, a word, etc.)
“What did I think and feel when this occurred?”

“Mad as heck” patterns help you understand your leadership values.

2. Be Mad Better

When you’re mad it’s tempting to raise your voice, throw insults, and say useless words. Some insights on the destructive nature of ignored anger (American Psychological Association).

Unexpressed anger can create other problems. It can lead to pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behavior (getting back at people indirectly, without telling them why, rather than confronting them head-on) or a personality that seems perpetually cynical and hostile. People who are constantly putting others down, criticizing everything, and making cynical comments haven’t learned how to constructively express their anger. Not surprisingly, they aren’t likely to have many successful relationships.

Great leaders cultivate their ability to manage emotions, so that they are in control. 

3. Teach From Your Mad

Use your anger to create “teachable moments” for your team or other leaders. Chill first– you can’t teach with your head exploding.

Explain exactly WHY you are frustrated. When your team is angry, help them explore and understand their emotions.

Help leaders become better by watching bad leaders.

4. Act Against Your Mad

Anger motivates (psychological benefits of anger). I blog to act against my enemy of “bad leadership.” What makes you mad? What are you doing about it?

Share this on your favorite network!
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Posted in Communication and tagged , , , , .

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt, is CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders and a former Verizon Wireless executive. Karin was named on Inc.’s list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference, the American Management Association List of 50 Leaders to Watch, and as a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader in Trust. She’s the award-winning author of two books, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results— Without Losing Your Soul, and Overcoming an Imperfect Boss. She’s regularly featured in business publications including Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Inc.

6 Comments

  1. How do you do it? One amazing post after another!!!

    I love this post. Not just because I agree 100%, but the tip to document is an awesome idea.

    I have found that feelings are one of the most misunderstood things in leadership.

    In fact…weird coincidence, my blog post today is about feelings…I even hit on anger. I went back to it and added a link to this post just before my post went live.

  2. Great points. As long as our mad can be made for productive change and understanding — an no one gets hurt! – then we need to leverage our passion. The positive action part is essential. Insightful. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *