Recognize And Defuse Anger In The Work Place

July 4, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Violence in the workplace in the U.S. is a dangerous and persistent threat to company success and employee peace of mind, moral and safety. The U.S. department of Labor revealed that homicide is the fourth largest cause of occupational injuries. It is the leading cause of death for women in the workplace.

These statistics are astonishing. However, the real tragedy is, these violent incidents could be avoided if employees and leaders understood how to recognize violence triggers and how to defuse them. Most people who act out violently indicate through their words and behavior their anger is escalating. When people recognize the warning signs, they can interject preventative strategies.

Most people believe that violence occurs when someone is anger about certain circumstances. More accurately, violence is a long-standing behavior pattern that is triggered when someone is angry about what he/she believes about the circumstances. When someone uses anger in response to a circumstance, it is because at least one of three primary triggers is in place. The person believes, “This is unfair,” “This is out of my control;” and/or “This is personal and it is against me.”

When these factors are present, they can manifest in many ways. The angry employee might have a significant drop in performance. He/she might make threatening comments to employees; about the company in general; or, in extreme circumstances resort to worse violence. The more intensely the person believes the circumstances are personal the worse the violence might become. Anyone who recognizes these triggers in a co-worker or other employee needs to advise management of the situation in detail without delay.

The key to preventing workplace violence is knowing what to do when anyone indicates he/she might be susceptible to the triggers or is displaying other warning signs. Such as: bullying other co-workers, substance abuse, frequently discussing marital or other non-professional problems or making idle threats or other unusual remarks.

All warning signs need to be taken seriously. As important as taking the warning signs seriously; these signs need to be reported to management immediately.

More often than not, co-workers do not report these incidents for fear of being labeled a ‘tattle tail,’ or snitch. Grade school admonishments tend to haunt people albeit there is no merit in any circumstance. Some people believe a popular myth that people who make threats do not act on them. Furthermore, no one wants to be an alarmist for fear they will become a target. Or for fear there is not sufficient workplace safety and incident reporting mechanisms to correct the situation.

However, not reporting these threats leaves everyone vulnerable. In addition, management has no opportunity to solve it without adequate information. Employees need to be instructed to report any concerns when something is amiss. If the leadership at the organization fails to take the report seriously employees need to contact law enforcement, which has the authority to investigate. Anyone who believes their safety is threatened has the responsibility to report the threats to management or to law enforcement.

Management has the responsibility of keeping the workplace safe for all employees. Every organization needs to make sure they have workplace violence policies and procedures in place.

Furthermore, it is management’s responsibility to make sure all employees have a clear understanding of the policies and that all employees know how to take action and what to expect when they report an incident.

Managers and leaders need to be well trained in how to recognize what kinds of situations are out of control and how to defuse anger and how to manage the employee going forward. If management is unable to regain harmonious interactions law enforcement needs to be involved. There is simply too much at risk to avoid taking the requisite action for every potential violent situation and to resolve it.

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, Metaphysician – Certified Hypnosis Practitioner, Author and Speaker. Dr. Dorothy facilitates clearing blocks, fears and limiting beliefs. You can live the life you desire. She brings awareness to concepts not typically obvious to one’s thoughts and feelings.

Article Source:,_PhD

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