Workplace Anger Widespread
British study finds managers and employees alike seethe over unfairness
MONDAY, Jan. 19, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- There's a lot of anger just below the surface in the workplace, and you'd be well-advised not to incur the wrath of a colleague, says a British study.
The University of Lancashire study, which included in-depth interviews with 24 men and women in management and non-management positions in a variety of job sectors, found anger is widespread at work. It most often erupts over immoral behavior (cheating, lying, stealing) or when people feel they've been unfairly treated (unjust criticism or heavy workload).
Other common triggers of workplace anger include incompetence, disrespect, failure to communicate or exclusion.
You may suffer unpleasant consequences if you anger a co-worker. In retaliation, that person may gossip or spread lies about you or assign you undesirable tasks. The person you angered may end up feeling chronically angry about the incident, may leave their job, or allow their anger to affect their home life, the study says.
People who were angry at work used a variety of coping mechanisms such as talking to others, letting off steam, negotiating a resolution, or giving the offender the cold shoulder.
The study concludes that anger at work may have both long- and short-term consequences for individuals and their companies. It's worthwhile for employers to identify and reduce causes of anger.
The study was presented at the recent British Psychological Society conference.
Here's where you can learn more about anger management.