Get Yourself Fired Up, Not Fired

This post is part of a new series that I call "Soft Skills for Hard Time; How to be Your Best When the Economy is a Mess".  My goal is to get you to appreciate that your security comes from within and you can increase your security and value to the marketplace by investing in your soft skills.

Have you ever gotten so angry you wanted to choke someone?  In the first Star Wars movie, Darth Vader strangled one of his own team members just for disagreeing with him. 

6 Star Wars Vader

In the US at least, it is not legal to choke a team member, though I am sure that many of us have had the desire to do just that at one time or another. 

Anger is one of 3 emotions that we really need to manage carefully.  In terms of managing our emotions, Anger is the #1 emotion we need to worry about.  Fear is #2 – you may recall that I discussed this at length in a previous post.  Being aware of and channeling our anger is a critical part of emotional self-management.  Sadness is a distant third emotion to manage. It is important, but not nearly as damaging as anger and fear.

Before working with my therapist, I didn’t recognize how angry I was all the time.  And I was pretty harsh when it came to my anger.  I never hit or choked anyone but I did use my words to give a punch or a jab whenever I was provoked.  What I thought at the time were funny comments or playful jabs, were in reality very mean-spirited comments that were quite hurtful to people.  I am surprised my career survived at all given how unpolished I was.

Anger is Power!

Anger is Power!  We can channel our anger and use that power to fire us up.  The power anger generates can move us toward our goals.  We just need to manage the anger. 

Managing the anger means that we don’t hit or choke people.  We also need to make sure we are not shouting or yelling at people, slamming doors, or making sarcastic comment.  Otherwise, instead of firing us up, that anger is going to get us fired.  In today’s highly sensitive HR environment, we need to be careful we don’t respond emotionally – like with an angry outburst – and wind up saying something that lands us in trouble.  We can’t afford to be seen as the guy or girl with a chip on their shoulder.

Even if we don’t have some sort of incident that can lead to firing, we have to be careful that we don’t come across as angry or mean-spirited.  I have a good friend named Don that I met when working on the QNEDS project.  At the start of a large program, he was called “abrasive” by a project leader from another team and it took him a long time to lose that label.  He is a great friend and an excellent project manager and leader.  Unfortunately, it took him a long-time to lose the label of abrasive outside the circle of people who worked closely with him and knew him well.

Do you have an anger related story to share?  I'd like to hear about it

Cheers!

Anthony

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