Anger, stress and frustration are emotions that we all experience at times. In business we all work in competitive environments and have to constantly be on the ball in all aspects of operations as well as strategically focusing on the next move to be a step ahead of the competition. So when emotional pressure hits us either from our business or personal lives we must consider the best way to manage it to advantage rather than let it simmer until we explode or perpetually weep out of us in a constant pity party.
Getting all Steamed Up!
When you find yourself in a situation where you are all steamed up from too much fuel on your fire and don’t know what action to take consider yourself to be the boiler of a steam engine and choose your best path from there. If you start feeling the pressure of the steam but do nothing at all you will explode and if you take a quick fix then you may vent in the same way as a whistle vent on a train. Of course, the third option is to use that steam to propel you to your planned destinations in life.
Your Choice: Explode
Many people try to deal with the steam of irritability by simply ignoring it, pushing it down into their gut and holding it in. It may seem like an easy solution in the short term but eventually it will lead to impulsive outbursts. Many people have worked for or know someone who has worked for a manager who can explode with an office outburst at the flick of a switch. John was such a manager. Coming into the office each day after sleeping in the guest room of his sisters home whilst trying to pick up the pieces of a messy separation he was feeling there was no place for him to share his situation with others. Instead, John would let the anger and frustration stew until he exploded in a tirade of insults so fierce that it would chop down forests let alone anyone who got in his path.
On one occasion a staff member approached John with a simple question. Feeling that they question could be answered by logical thought and that it was spelled out in her work procedures John was tipped over the edge by his personal circumstances. Heading into a behavioral outburst, verbally cutting the staff member off at her knees, she left his office in tears. Come the end of the day, she collected her handbag, jacket and a few personal possessions leaving just one thing – a signed resignation effective immediately sitting upon her keyboard.
Your Choice: Vent
I have no doubt that every adult has needed to ‘vent’ at some point. However, the effect of venting your emotive response tends to sustain mediocrity. Having a whinge does not make any difference to an undesired situation. It does quite the opposite. Complaining lets off pressure so that we don’t explode but can also lower the pressure to the point where our compulsion to take the, sometimes risky, steps of dealing with the situation. Hanging out our emotional response by having a solid whine, like a bloated belly covered by top three sizes too small, only prolongs the problematic situation and makes no change.
Phillipa worked in a boutique technology company. Office politics was rife with one manager playing staff off against management. She did her best not to take part but was disheartened by her manager who only assigned her simplistic tasks that were not fully utilizing her skills. Not storing it up, Phillipa chose to vent to any friend or family member who would listen and her friends attested that every conversation over the past four months had included a solid pity session over her work situation.
Your Choice: Steam Power!
Taking your emotional steam and using it to power your actions like passing pressure to a piston to move a train can make you a force to be reckoned with. Not because you may explode or lay your emotional baggage out for all to see but rather because you are moving on to new places leaving the anger, stress and frustrations of your circumstances behind you for those involved to deal with.
Halley, a young entrepreneur, was sure that she had a way to add value to local businesses. However, at only 18 years of age and no business references she was quickly becoming frustrated with door after door being closed in her face, Faced with two weeks of knock backs Halley sat down, assessed her situation and came up with a plan for success.
Gandhi wrote, “As heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power which can move the world.” He reflected on his personal responses when he also said, “It is not that I do not get angry. I do not give vent to anger.” In saying this, Gandhi was illustrating the power of mind we have in us to harness our emotional responses and channel them into positive action.
John chose, with some management mentoring, to take the opportunity to spend time with both a lawyer and a counselor to assess his situation. From the ashes John salvaged his marriage but spending less time at the office. From what I hear he now making life far more enjoyable for others both in the office and at home. Phillipa found some time alone with her thoughts and focused on her desires. She took decisive action after a weeks annual leave by seeking employment elsewhere. She found a role that challenged her mind and her technical skills as well as stretching her to new areas by mentoring other staff in the technical aspects of their roles. Halley, too, took her frustrations and documented it so that she had a road map to success which she then carried through on.
Gandhi changed the world as we know it leaving a permanent impression of people all across the globe. His ability to transform emotional pressure can be easily replicated once we stop complaining so that we to can make our impact in the lives of others. All that needs to be done is to make the decision to use emotional pressure to propel us to where we want to be. Now is the time to examine the impact of your choices and choose paths that will lead you to business success.
Author: Kristy Bennett