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Eat fish to cure the red mist of anger at work

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Organisations are rife with situations likely to cause leaders and teams anger, including complex relationships, chronic pressure, high stakes and factors beyond individual control. 

Out-of-control anger is perhaps the most destructive emotion that people experience in the workplace.

It's also the emotion that most of us don't handle very well.

Researchers have suggested three main triggers of anger in the workplace:

  • Feeling unjustly treated by others, particularly a leader or witnessing an injustice in your organisation (for example, someone else being treated unfairly)

  • When you feel like someone is messing with your goals or obstructing your plans. Lack of time or resources can also be the cause of deviant behaviour at work

  • Interpersonal conflict, such as personality clashes and differences in attitudes. Not only causing one but whole teams to be angry.

Is your blood boiling yet?

If you have trouble managing your temper at work, then learning to control it is one of the best things you can do if you want to stay in your job.

Try these 6 suggestions to control your anger:

  1. Watch for early signs of anger

    Only you know the danger signs when anger is building, so learn to recognise them when they begin.
    Stopping your anger early is key.
    Remember, you can choose how you react in a situation.
    Just because your first instinct is to become angry doesn't mean it's the correct response.

  2. If you start to get angry, stop what you're doing

    Close your eyes, and practice the deep-breathing exercises. This interrupts your angry thoughts and it helps put you back on a more positive path.

  3. Picture yourself when you're angry

    If you imagine how you look and behave while you're angry, it gives you some perspective on the situation.
    For instance, if you're about to shout at your co-worker, imagine how you would look. Is your face red?
    Are you waving your arms around? Would you want to work with someone like that? Probably not.

  4. Get moving

    Want to throw your desk chair through a window?
    That could be your adrenaline talking.
    Break down excess adrenaline by getting more oxygen into your system—go for a brisk walk, hit the gym, or lock yourself in a conference room for a dance party of one.
    Whatever it takes to get your pulse down and your mind clear.

  5. Write it all on down (digital or paper):

    Include all of the relevant details including your points, their points and any misunderstanding you think took place.
    Steady yourself with counterpoints from both sides.
    Read it out loud and try to see the situation objectively—things might not be as complicated as they seem.

    Pro tip: this is for your eyes only so keep this document safe unless you want other people involved.

  6. Eat Fish

    Strange as it seems, what we eat has an impact on how we manage our emotions and how we behave.
    Certain nutrients protect against these adverse effects – for example, those contained in fish or tumeric, a powerful anti-inflammatory.
    Some studies suggest dietary supplementation with fish oil and other micronutrients can improve frontal lobe function and reduce aggressive behaviour.


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Based on over 20 years of worldwide use and research, it enables you to get leaders and teams to understand why they behave the way they do and use a highly effective 10 step framework to improve their occupational performance.

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