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Valuing Anger
Hello. I’m Tony Mayo, the Business Owner’s Executive Coach with one quick idea you can use in your business …today.
Let’s talk about anger, a very common yet often unwelcome emotion. Each emotion inclines us toward particular actions, to move in a way consistent with that emotion. Motion is right there in the word: E-motion.
Each emotion has its associated motions. Joy leads to smiles, fatigue leads to slumped posture and lying down, love leads to touching and nurturing. Anger leads to motions that … harm … or damage. And, that’s the problem with anger in the work environment. Chances are it really is not a good idea to do any harm or damage to the people and objects in your place of work, whether you do it physically –or verbally.
But, anger arises. … What to do about it?
What I encourage you to do are these four fast, simple steps.
First, learn to recognize early … that anger is arising. I feel it in my forehead, the muscles squeezing my eyebrows together. For you it may be seeing red or spots, raising your voice, breaking your pencil– if you’re not sure, ask someone close to you how he or she knows when you’re getting angry.
After this early warning, step two is one you’ve heard many times. Breath … slowly … in and out … at least once, maybe three times or …ten times.
Next, step three, introspect. Ask yourself, “What’s the value being threatened?” What principle close to my heart is being undermined, disrespected, or ignored?
When my boys were young, I found that if they started to intentionally thwart or hurt each other I got instantly and intensely angry. But, of course, I didn’t want to damage or harm my little boys. So, I looked inward, ” What is important to my self-image, my view of the world, the way I want life to be lived, that’s not being expressed right now? … What’s the value being threatened?”
I place tremendous value on the principle that people do their best to support and take care of each other, particularly family members. That’s how I want my world to be and any indication that my family isn’t behaving that way … lights my fuse.
With my little boys, when I saw that was the value I wanted to promote or protect, the next step was clear. I interrupted their unwelcome behavior. I showed them ways to cooperate. I encouraged the behavior that I was looking for instead of –ironically– demonstrating anger, which I definitely am not looking for or wanting to encourage in my family. I had plenty enough of that in my own childhood.
Recapping… First, learn to recognize the feelings …in your body that are the beginnings of anger. The next time you feel that hot red emotion called anger welling up, —leading you towards harming or destroying –whether by yelling, by throwing, by insulting, by making rash decisions, or even by withdrawing and withholding yourself– [breathe] go to step two, take that long, relaxing breath to feed your brain the oxygen it needs … to think … instead of react.
Third, notice what value of yours seems to be threatened.
Fourth, and finally, choose a response that will serve that value, that will be supportive and constructive, that will bring your value into reality instead of letting anger motivate you into destruction and harm.
Notice Early • Breathe Slowly • Name the Value • Act for the Value
Thanks for listening.
I hope you enjoy this podcast, that you apply it, and
you share it.