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?
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.
Eric, thanks so much. Your post is great. All you can see it here. Please always feel free to include links in your comments. http://www.ericdingler.com/be-a-better-leader-leverage-feelings/#.UTjmG9FASaM
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!
Jon, Thanks so much. I loved your post on responding vs. reacting. All, some great stuff… http://www.thindifference.com/2013/03/07/a-mindful-difference-respond-vs-react/
Ooh. I needed that one.
oh, good 😉