#WorkRage #EgoDepletion #RegulateEmotions
Perhaps you got stuck in traffic.
Perhaps you were on hold – with that annoying music – for a half-hour while trying to order something.
These types of things trigger anger. Though we may try hard not to take that anger out on others, sometimes the self-regulatory mechanism is so depleted, we lose control.
Such are the findings of Stephen Courtright, assistant professor of management at Texas A&M University, who is researching why bosses lash out in the workplace.
Courtright’s work was discussed by Kris B. Mamula in an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and recently published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Courtright calls the situation in which one loses the ability to regulate one’s emotions “ego depletion.” You may know someone who has shown this, or you may have shown it yourself on occasion.
One can replenish one’s ego over time, Mamula writes. “If you are experiencing anger in the workplace, strategically choose things to regain control in order to control anger,” Mamula quotes Courtright.
About 14 percent of employees in the United States are victims of nonphysical workplace aggression, Mamula writes.
As a result, corporations lose about $23.8 billion annually in lost productivity, grievance procedures and health care costs from abusive supervisors and related behavior, Mamula quotes a 2007 study.
Sometimes, victims of such abuse have very little recourse, other than to find a new place to work.
Would it be nice to work from home, for yourself, so that you can only get mad at yourself, and no one can take out his anger on you? If you think so, visit You’ll find stories of people who have ditched that traditional J-O-B in favor of working for themselves AND, more importantly, helping others do the same.
Authority doesn’t make a leader. Bluster is not an effective motivational tool. Leaders tend to work FOR those who technically work for them. They do everything possible to make sure their teams are as productive as they can be. They do all they can to minimize stress. They do everything possible to make them a pleasure to be around.
No one should have to be abused in the workplace. No one should have to work for someone who beats up people emotionally. It’s not good for the employees, and not good for the business as a whole.
Particularly if you have employees working for you, work to find the things in your life that upset you. Often, it has nothing to do with the employees or their work. Perhaps there are stress inducers at home, or elsewhere in your life.
“Simply put, conflict at home taxes the emotional stamina needed to absorb everyday conflicts outside the home, which can lead to mental fatigue and abusive behavior at work,” Mamula writes.
In other words, lighten up, loosen up, let things go. You and those you work with will be much happier and more productive.