The other day I was waiting for an online talk to start when the organizers had serious technical issues. In this particular case, the organizer’s clients (including me) were part of a Facebook of over 2,500 people. It was not long before angry complaints were posted. In the past I would have been one of them, but these days I make an effort to see things from the other side. I imagined the stress of those trying to connect with the speaker and make this live event happen.
Instead of joining the complaints I started posting my sympathy for those trying to make things happen. I then posted that I was cooking dinner while waiting for the ‘show’ to start. This prompted replies asking what I was cooking (Shepherd’s Pie) and this turned into a long thread about different kinds of food people liked and were cooking, including an English favourite of mine Bubble and Squeak. As you can imagine people wanted to know what this strange dish was and to cut a long story short, the complainers stopped complaining and some joined in the fun.
In the end, the talk had to be postponed, but next day I got a private Facebook message thanking me for being understanding and for lightening the mood. It also suggested that the organizers might be able to use my writing services. So, win-win!
So, how do you curb your tendency to get into a rage about things?
Identify what makes you lose control
Get to know your hot buttons and why they trigger negative emotions. Why does Fred anger you and Jenny doesn’t? Why do some customers drive you crazy and others with a similar issue not so much? How does one negative thought spiral into despair and anger?
Knowing and understanding the triggers that make us get off track is the first step in helping us to stop them from happening. If business rage is a problem for you, it can be helpful to talk to a professional counselor or psychologist who can help you to get to the root of what triggers the anger (and often despair), so you can be more effective in controlling your response.
Do what you can to stop losing your positive attitude
Once you’ve identified and can understand the things that make you lose it, develop strategies to help you head off the anger.
If you do find yourself responding to a trigger and are in the first few turns of a downward spiral, come up with a STOP strategy. It could be as simple as taking three deep breaths.
When all else fails and you find yourself at the bottom of the spiral, try to see how self-defeating it is. Most of the time our spirals take us to the edge of our fears, but where our thoughts end up may be irrational, or even comical. Being able to see that, may help you avoid ending up there again.
Keep yourself physically and emotionally healthy
If you are run down, or emotionally exhausted, you will be less able to cope with business rage. Eating healthily, getting enough sleep and exercise, maintaining happy, healthy relationships, having balance in your life – all will contribute to your ability to keep yourself out of negative space.
Getting angry is inevitable in business, but recognizing that you are heading in that direction, acknowledging it and strategizing about how to deal with the negativity you are feeling, will help you stay on top of it rather than letting it damage your business and your health.
Oh, Bubble and Squeak? This traditional English dish dates back to the very early 1800’s and is basically a fry up of vegetables left over from a roast dinner. Cabbage, carrots, Brussel Sprouts and any other vegetable are fried into a large patty along with mashed potatoes (or mashed up roast potatoes) until nice and brown and crusty on both sides. A favourite way to serve it is with a full English breakfast. Its name comes from the sounds it makes during cooking.
I suppose bubble and squeak could also be the sound of someone suffering from business rage!
Want to read more about Business Rage? Check out Business Rage – How to Avoid It.