Human resource professionals and executives often seek "anger management training" to help key employees more effectively handle conflicts with others at work.
This is usually a faulty assessment.
More often, the employees don't need to learn to control their anger; they just need to learn how to communicate in conflict situations. Anger control deficiency is actually a clinical condition involving a degree of impulsiveness that may require medical or psychiatric intervention, including lengthy psychotherapy or psychopharmacologic treatment; fortunately this condition is quite rare. (This explanation is given by "Conflict Doctor" Dan Dana.)
By learning simple, practical communication tools, employees who are thought to have an "anger management problem" are immediately enabled to resolve costly* and disruptive interpersonal conflicts that previously led to angry outbursts. The results can be startlingly effective.
We recommend that managers register for Track 2 (Train-the-Manager) to learn Self Mediation and Managerial Mediation, two practical communication skills for managing workplace conflict.
We recommend that human resource professionals and others wishing to help others in their organization with anger control register for Track 3 (Train-the-Professional). Registrants receive several tools, including a coaching video to demonstrate to others exactly how to apply these communication tools.
* Click for complimentary access to the Dana Measure of Financial Cost of Organizational Conflict, an on-line calculator producing immediate results. Computer your financial return-on-investment (ROI) in conflict management training.
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Edited by Melissa Zarda. See other bibliographies.
Contributors: Ken Von Uht, Rose Orsini, Vincent Filippa, Phonsavanne Sithiphon, Cavit Kahya, Margaret Kozlowska-Misiorek, Ed Beaupre, Michele Barnas
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This book presents a revolutionary look at destructive behavior, and provides a solid framework for remedying these crucial problems. It clarifies why perpetrators of evil deeds are motivated by a belief that they are doing good. It goes on to explain how the offenders are locked into distorted belief systems that control their behavior and shows how the same distortions in thinking occur in a rampaging mob as in an enraged spouse. This book provides a blueprint for correcting warped thinking and belief systems.
- Bilmes, D. Connecting with kids for kids: not cool to be cruel--anger management & bullying. School Library Journal, v49, p80(1).
This article presents the ideas discussed in a video about the bullying that children experience daily in schools. Through four true-life stories, this video details how these children and their families were adversely affected by this common problem. Valuable lessons in regards to anger management and bullying can be learned by either party of this act.
- Boeree, George, C. PhD. A Phenomenological Sketch. Retrieved from the Web May 10, 2005. Shippensburg University Press Copy right 1998.
Some people are predisposed towards dealing with all of their problems with
anger. With these people, certain settings are more conducive to anger than
others. Mood, personality, and settings, while important variables, are not
essential to anger. Words used to describe the “triggers” of anger include being wronged, lack of justice, betrayal, mistreated, resentment, invasion of space, a feeling of helplessness, and frustration. The commonality among all of these terms is that there has been a real or a preserved “violation” of
- Booth, J. & Mann S. (2004). The experience of workplace anger. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 26, pp. 250-262.
This article reveals multiple themes that might cause anger at the workplace. The authors caution managers about addressing source of anger because of the common misconception that individuals’ anger is a manifestation of their personality. Instead, authors propose managers explore the real underlying causes of anger, such as unfair treatment, so that they can eliminate possible conflict with those employees.
- Bosworth, K., Espelage D. & DuBay, T. (1998). A computer-based violence prevention intervention for young adolescents: pilot study. Adolescence, Vol.33, p785(1)
Study is suggesting that the technology must be utilized for teaching adolescent ways to resolve conflict without violence. The tool that has been used in this study (SMART Talk) is mainly focusing on teaching adolescent anger management, perspective thinking and mediation skills by using interactive and attractive tools to communicate well with adolescents. Results of the study have showed that increase in personal quality and ability to manage anger and emotions significantly increased at the adolescents who took the training.
A man’s anger does not have to be out of control. This book will help
you understand your anger. And, by using exercises and worksheets at the end
of each chapter, you will learn to effectively reverse destructive behavior
patterns to prevent such disastrous consequences as damage to relationships,
self-loathing, destruction of property, loss of job, and the potential for
injury to yourself or others.
- Currie, M. (2004). Doing anger differently: A group percussion therapy for angry adolescent Boys. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, (Volume 54, Issue 3; pp 275).
This article illustrates the doing anger differently (DAD) program, which was developed for teenage boys with anger, and aggression issues. The purpose of the program is to reduce anger levels, depression and misbehaviors while increasing self-esteem. It is a ten-week school based program, which incorporates music to engage these difficult to handle group of young boys.
- Deffenbacher, J.L. (2004), Anger-management programs: issues and suggestions: a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work. Behavioral Health Management, v24, p36(4).
Anger and aggressive behavior is quite common in today's society, and as a result, a number of programs and interventions are available to address this problem. This article provides an in-depth discussion and suggests a series of guidelines for providing suitable anger management programs for those in need. Individuals' needs differ and therefore, programs should be carefully planned to address those needs.
- Dentemaro, Christine and Kranz, Rachel (1995). Straight Talk About Anger.
New York : Facts On File, Inc.
This book addresses many topics associated to anger for young adult readers.
The author focuses on helping young people understand many issues and difficult
choices to consider. The first few chapters cover topic of how anger is the
misunderstood emotion, identifying the anger situation and finding ways to
expres your anger. The last few chapters discuss how to cope with your anger
and others. Helpful resources are provided in the end to find help.
- Department of Veterans Affairs. Anger and Trauma: Why is anger a common response to trauma? A National Center for PTSD Fact Sheet.
Anger is usually a central feature of a survivor’s response to trauma because it is a core component of the survival response in humans. Anger helps people cope with life’s
adversities by providing us with increased energy to persist in the face of
obstacles. However, controlled anger can ultimately lead to a continued sense
of being out of control of oneself and can create multiple problems in the
personal lives of those who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.
Research shows that up to 30% of men, especially those in adolescence and midlife, exhibit symptoms of IMS. In its mildest form, IMS can cause men to be moody and irritable. At its worst, it can lead to violence and even suicide. The pain and destruction caused by IMS affects not only the men themselves but also their families, their communities, and the world at large. Just as PMS has become a recognized problem in women, IMS will soon be acknowledged as a genuine affliction among men.
- Donovan, Frank. Dealing With Your Anger: Self-help solutions for men using self-awareness, communication, and negotiation to overcome fear, insecurity and rage. Retrieved from the Web June 3, 2005. http://www.househunter.com House Hunter Press 2001.
The author offers help, without offering excuses, for dealing with the outbursts of violence and the risk of harm that can result from uncontrolled anger, especially male anger. This practical book focuses on emotional healing, behavior control and real change. It gives the reader the tools you need to release rage, fear, and insecurity and open the door to self-analysis, communication and negotiation.
The author asserts that this book will show you that you actually choose to
upset yourself by turning your healthy desires for success, approval and pleasure
into a rigid set of shoulds, oughts, and musts. You see a setback as not just
bad, but awful. You decide you simply can’t stand a frustrating situation.
You belittle yourself and others when adversities occur. Or you over generalize.
Such irrational beliefs keep you from realizing there are almost always alternative
solutions to your problems.
- Falcone, Paul. Welcome Back Disgruntled Employees: Trying to bring an alienated employee back in from the cold is worth the time and effort. Retrieved from the Web May 9, 2005. HR Magazine, (February 2001, Vol. 46, No. 2).
Employees who are angry see themselves as victims. They justify their feelings by blaming those around them. Eventually this can lead to increased absenteeism, stress-related disability leave, union grievances, lawsuits and even workplace violence. It is said there are two kinds of employees who quit companies: those who quit and leave and those who quit and stay. By utilizing anger management techniques, you can turn these employees around before anger explodes, resulting in termination.
- Fiore, Tony, M.D. (2005). How to Control Your Anger: Retreat and Think Things Over. www.conflict911.com
The approach discussed in this article, “retreat and think things over”, can be useful in all walks of life. When you find yourself at the point of exploding about a conflict, you should walk away from the situation and allow your body a chance to cool down as well as your mind a chance to think things over before you say or do something irrational. Once you reach the point of no return you should notice several signs which will tell you that you need to get away from the situation. These signs include: feeling overwhelmed, raising your voice, heart racing, muscles tightening, and you can’t think straight. When you get to this point, that is when you need to distance yourself. And, although you might like to, you can’t tell the other party to do the same. You must do this on your own and return with a clearer mind with the goal of resolving the conflict in mind. By this time, the other party should be calmer as well.
This psychotherapist and bestselling author shows you how to deal with anger productively. She shares her passionate wisdom about the issues surrounding anger and encourages you to work through conflict and frustration in healthy and effective ways. By providing you with inspiration, concrete suggestions, and essential tools for making positive changes in yourself and in your relationships, this book is a resource to help you manage the stress and frustration of day-to-day life.
The emotion of anger has been around forever and that is not likely to change; but your reaction to anger can change. The idea that you cannot control your anger or your behavior is a myth. You are in complete control of your daily life activities and your actions at all times. Many adults have problems with angry feelings because we are not taught how to handle the emotion of anger as children. As children, most of us were not welcome to experience or express anger. You have an obligation to learn how to manage your anger.
Gomez, Armando (2005). Anger Management at Work. www.conflict911.com
Controlling your anger at work may not necessarily be a case for a mediator or need strong conflict management skills, however, this conflict within must be handled in order to save face and work amicably with your peers. The author gives several examples and solutions to dealing with stress at work and controlling your angry tendencies. The simplest is to squeeze a stress ball, which provides a physical outburst of sorts to deal with the psychological rage. Turn on some light happy music when you are feeling anger coming on. Leave the room and get a change of scenery. Other suggestions include: Counting to ten, going to the gym and pumping some iron, putting things in perspective, breathe in and out, do something fun on your computer, drink a cup of tea (it lowers your blood pressure), write out the conflict, or confront the person who has caused this conflict and settle the dispute.
- Harbin, Thomas J. Beyond Anger: A guide for men. How to free yourself from the grip of anger and get more out of life. Retrieved from the Web June 3, 2005. http://www.menstuff.org/books/byissue/feelings-anger.html Marlowe & Company,
It’s not a new idea that men tend to express their anger differently than women do. Years of research have shown that men, for many different and complex reasons – are
often more violent and less willing to confront and deal with their emotions
than women. The author helps men understand their anger by explaining what
the specific symptoms of chronic anger are and by showing angry men how their
actions negatively affect family, friends and co-workers. Women, too, will
learn essential strategies for understanding and helping the angry men in their
- Harmon, S., February (1992). How to Use Anger Constructively- Managing Anger, Part 1, Medical Laboratory Observer.
This article briefly goes over a situation that angers workers in a laboratory. The author goes over each side of the situation and describes the anger the employees in the laboratory are experiencing. She then describes the wrong way to use anger, which would not only embarrass you but could cost you your job. She suggests using energy from anger constructively. Giving several examples of how the employees at the lab could solve their problem.
- Howells, K. (2004). Anger and its links to violent offending. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, v11,
This article describes the direct psychological connection between the emotion
of anger and the various behaviors related to aggressiveness and violence.
A number of advantages and disadvantages of anger management type intervention
programs for violent offenders are discussed and suggestions for improving
the effectiveness and usefulness of these programs are provided.
- Iglesias, S.L., Azzara, S., Squillace, M., Jeifetz, M., Lores Arnais, M.R.,
Desimone, M.F., & Diaz, L.E. (2005). A study on the effectiveness of a
stress management program for college students. Pharmacy Education, v5, pp27-31(5).
This article presents the results of a study performed to obtain empirical evidence of a stress mangement program on 136 undergraduate students. The study involved student evaluation and the devlopment of a stress management pilot program (SMPP). Effects of the SMPP were evaluated through set of variables before and after the treatment. Studies seemed to indicate that students had lower levels of stress following the SMPP exposure.
Employees may become defensive or hostile in the face of criticism of their
performance or conduct. Such hostility is assured when the employee believes
his or her boss to be lying. The key to any successful employer-employee relationship
is communication expectations. A necessary element for the maintenance of a
successful workplace relationship continues to be the employer’s communication
of its expectations, even as they change. Some employees are not suited for
their jobs. When performance and behavioral expectations form the guidepost,
the relationship usually can be ended in such situations without the anger,
hostility and desire for revenge that fuel litigation. Anger management should
be initiated through the communication process before these situations escalates
- Johnson P. R. & Indvik J. (1996). Stress and violence in the workplace. Employee Counseling Today, Vol. 8, pp. 19–24.
The authors have emphasized the increase in acts of violence in the workplace through specific examples in the US. The main causes of violence at the workplace are authoritarian managers who have lack of communication whit their employees, invasion of privacy of the employee and unreasonable work overload. The authors conclude the article with a couple recommendations to mitigate possible violence at the workplace.
- Kelly, K. (2004). You have a problem with my temper? So did I, until I began using it as a tool. FSB, v14, p32.
Directly from a person with extreme anger management problems, this article
describes a person who identified with his behavioral issues and how he affected
others. After a realization that an attitude and behavior adjustment was necessary,
this writer sought professional help, which provided him simple techniques
to prevent the normal aggressive reactions he once had. In addition, this person
learned the idea of “strategic anger” and how it can be useful in some situations.
- Leopold, A.K. (2004), Taming your temper: is anger getting the best of you? Get over it. Current Health 2, a Weekly Reader publication, v31, p20(2).
This article describes the “powerful emotion” of anger and discusses a number
of physical reactions that are caused by it. Studies show that anger can be
quite harmful to one's health, likely to cause problems such as heart disease,
high blood pressure, and obesity. Although anger is not necessarily a wrong
emotion, more positive and beneficial responses exist. Before anger sets in,
people must learn to take a brief moment to calm themselves down.
If you love football and are quick to anger, this innovative book is for you. You will learn how to take your love and knowledge of football and use it to help you quickly learn anger control and problem-solving skills. Not only will the unique football approach in this book make for quick and easy reading, you will find it difficult to put down.
- Lindsay, W.R., Murphy, L., Smith, G., Murphy, D., Edwards, Z., Chittock, C.,
Grieve, A., & Young, S.J. (2004). The dynamic risk assessment and management
system: an assessment of immediate risk of violence for individuals with offending
and challenging behavior. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, v17,
Dynamic Risk Assessment and Management System (DRAMS) research over that last
10 years seemed to reveal that various variables, including hostile attitude/
anger and compliance with routine, as being predictors of sexual and violent
offenses. This article describes the development of this research model over
time and the related reliability and usefulness of the assessment.
- Lovenheim, Peter & Guerin, Lisa (2004). Mediate, Don't Litigate: Strategies for Successful Mediation. Berkeley, CA: Nolo.
Going to court to resolve legal disputes is stressful, expensive and time-consuming. Consider a better alternative: Mediation. Then use this book to guide you through the entire process. This book approaches conflict and anger from a litigation point of view and shows that mitigation and mediation are often better at handling negotiations.
- Lynch, K. (2000), Anger management: gaining control of anger. School Library Journal,v4 6, p205.
This article references a set of books that explain the subject of anger management as it relates to young adults. The reading identifies a number risks involved with this type of conflict, informs the reader of ways that the problems can be resolved or dealt with, and provides a series of examples of matters based on factual stories and information.
- Marriott, L., & Allen, D. (2004), Anger management: simple ways to keep
from seeing red. Golf Magazine, v46, p85.
This article gives tips and advice for those not having a good day on the
golf course. Rather than slamming your expensive golf club into the ground,
consideration of these three anger management strategies could help. During
a bad day on the course, always remember: “(1) slowly to seven, (2) eyes on
the horizon, and (3) Let it go.”
The author briefly describes the different chapters in the book. The different types of anger, all eight of them and the chapters dedicated to each type. The author discusses the choices and skills needed to utilize the information in the book to deal with employees. The book identifies seven skills needed to deal with and prevent anger issues, by type.
- McGowan, K. (2005). Peace talks: How to calm down. Psychology Today, (Volume 38, Issue 4; pp 58).
This article gives step-by-step detail on a process called HEALS which, is used to get to the root of anger. This process is designed to tackle the deep embedded frustration. Most management programs teach relaxation techniques and develop skills to control anger. However, those programs are only touching the surface and not digging deeper to the root cause.
- McKeen, Scott. Edmonton Journal. Edmonton, Alta.: Jun 23, 2008. pg. A.10.
- Myer, Merry. Breaking Point: Companies should develop plans to manage worker stress and anger to keep productivity and moral up, violence down. HR Magazine, (October 2001, Vol. 46, No. 10).
The Standard Gravure Corporation, September 14, 1989: An employee went through the plant shooting people randomly, and then he killed himself. Unhappy employees have committed similar atrocities at dozens of other companies. Managers and supervisors must be trained to recognize potential problems, and employees must be encouraged to voice their concerns and instructed how to properly communicate situations that need to be addressed, prior to reaching the crises stage.
- Nay, Robert. (2003). Taking Charge of Anger: How to Resolve Conflict, Sustain Relationships, and Express Yourself without Losing Control. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Anger is as much disliked feeling as conflict and it should be approached similarly. The early warning signs are: unrealistic expectations for oneself and other people, physical sensations and thoughts, and moving from being passive to openly aggressive. Anger often manifests itself differently among different people and is an indicator of an underlying unresolved issues and conflicts. The book takes the reader through different anger management techniques.
Very anger people live in a trap. They lose control. Things are said and damage
is done that later creates deep regret. Friends, lovers, and jobs are lost.
And it just keeps happening. This book has real help and real answers. If you’re
an angry person, you can make immediate changes by learning to: Identify the
causes of anger. Stop making excuses for anger. Avoid violence, blaming and
threats. Stay calm for 24 hours, and then another 24 hours. Change anger provoking
thoughts one day at a time.
- President and Fellows of Harvard College. (2004). Hot-headed approach to heart disease. Harvard Heart Letter.
This article describes the “ill” effects that anger can have on the heart.
Continuous research in this area seems to reveal an undeniable connection between
heart conditions, and anger, stress and hostility. Unknown at this time, however,
is whether any type of anger management activity actually reduces the health
risks. This article provides an anger rating scale that could indicate individual
risk for health problems.
- Quinley, K. (2003), Anger management: preventing workplace violence. Claims, v51,
Workplace stress can be the cause of behavioral issues, severe hostility and
sudden violence amongst employees. This article lists a variety of workplace
and personal issues that can create and increase the pressures that could ultimately
lead to stress and provides a number of factual examples of where this problem
has resulted in violence in the workplace. In order to be proactive against
this potential problem, and avoid costly litigation, companies should consider
the implementation of a violence risk management program and employee-training
- Ralston, J. (2003), Anger management and violence in society. School Library Journal, v49
As is seen in our lives, presented by the media, and supported by statistics,
violence has plagued our society through many forms. A series of violent incidents
involving children in school, such as the Columbine High School shooting, linger
in our minds. Society is in desperate need of help and change to prevent future
incidents of violence. Through literature, we can educate our children and
help minimize these tragic episodes.
- Ramsey, Robert D. (2004). Managing workplace anger: your employees', your customers' and your own. SuperVision, 65, 8-10.
In this article, the author points out the effects anger has on an organization’s employees and customer relations and suggests some solutions. Managers that have control over their emotions and tempers can act rationally with others, and this reduces angry confrontations. Helping employees handle anger and reduce customer anger therefore begins with self-anger management.
- Santa Lucia, L. (2004), Anger Management: seething at someone? Here's how to keep your lid from blowing off. Scholastic Choices, v20, p28(1).
Before seeking formal anger management assistance, one should consider these ten tips for preventing episodes of anger. Anger is a normal human emotion that cannot entirely be prevented. However, through symptom recognition and awareness of anger motivators, one may be able to resolve the issues at hand. Among other things, a positive and calm attitude is a start to a peaceful resolution. Finally, if these tips don't help, people must learn to stay positive and maintain a calm and peaceful attitude. Also, it is OK to ask a trusted adult for help.
- Seligman, D. (2003) It's all the rage. Forbes, v172, p89.
This article describes the extent of growth of anger management therapy in today's society and examines the various reasons behind why the subject has become so acknowledged in recent times. Although growth is evident within this field, it seems that the therapy involved with pathological anger is not taken seriously by clinicians and researchers. Various related practitioner concerns are discussed.
- Semler, A. (2004), Anger management: your best form of advertising is a satisfied customer. And your worst? An unhappy customer. One of the best things you can do for business is resolve customers' problems--and leave them singing your praises. Aftermarket Business, v114, p82.
How do you respond to a customer who is ranting and raving in anger on the phone? Two choices include either getting the customer off the phone ASAP or working calmly towards maintaining this customer relationship, since after all, a satisfied customer is often the best advertisement. Through obtaining an understanding of customers' values, being aware of and utilizing the author's key ingredients to such conversations, a successful resolution can be achieved.
Conquer your anger once and for all. Learn where your anger comes from. Learn how to keep your anger from destroying your relationships, your happiness and your productiveness. Read case reviews that will show you how to avoid, Temper tantrums, feelings of going crazy, depression, panic, humiliation and family battles.
Anger is “an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage.” The natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is our natural, adaptive response to a “threat”.
Therefore, a certain amount of anger is necessary to our survival. The end
goal of anger management is to reduce both the emotional feelings and the physiological
arousal you experience in response to anger. We cannot avoid the things and
the people that enrage us, and we are not going to change them. However, we
can learn to control our reaction to these sources of anger.
- Stack, Laura (2003). Employees Behaving Badly. Retrieved from the Web May 9, 2005. HR Magazine (October 2003, Vol. 48, No. 10).
This article coins a new term, “desk rage”. This is not to insinuate that everyone that gets angry at work is a raging psychopath who intends to blow up the company. Desk rage is the result of normal stress. Some people, pushed too far, haven’t been taught to use productive outlets for stress. Increased workloads, cramped workspace, office clutter, and shorter response time can intensify desk rage. Organizations must be aware of two facts: “what
is tolerated will be repeated: what is modeled will be reinforced.”
- Staneart,D, (2005) Workplace Conflict Resolution Tips, The Leaders Institute, Team Building and Employee Development Training.
This article is a brief overview of the program the author teaches on workplace violence and conflict. He briefly talks about the common characteristics that make conflict inevitable among people. Then he gives seven tips for avoiding and ultimately managing and resolving conflicts. He places some emphasis on developing soft skills when dealing with conflicts or potential conflicts.
- Tilley, D., & Brackley, M. (2005) Men Who batter intimate partners: a
grounded theory study of the development of male violence in intimate partner
relationships. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, v26, p281(17).
Physical abuse by an intimate partner is major problem with a significant number of reported instances in the United States annually. Through a study that was conducted on the perpetrators of this type of violence, the Violent Couples Model was developed. The primary elements of this model include violence justification and minimizing, childhood experiences of violence, and ineffective anger management and conflict resolution.
- Torres, N.L. (2005), Anger management: how to deal with irate customers without losing your cool. Entrepreneur, v33,
This article provides a useful bit of information for anyone involved in customer
service whether it is face-to-face contact or via the telephone. Either way,
an angry customer can be extremely difficult to deal with; however, a few simple
guidelines may be helpful in calming irate customers down and minimizing their
aggressive behavior in these situations.
- Walker, Theresa. Working it out: Art is one avenue being used to help young people better manage anger and fear. Retrieved from the Web May 9, 2005 http://www.art4healing.org/6_14_04_article.html The Orange County Register (June 14, 2004).
Intervene early, anger is a learned behavior and we work to refine it all
of our lives if it is not corrected. Workshops for teaching children to express
their anger through art have proved popular with parents, therapists and youth
diversion programs. It’s one more avenue in the stepped-up search for
ways to help angry kids. When there is no intervention, these angry kids develop
into angry employees.
- Willner, P., Brace, N., & Phillips, J. (2005). Assessment of anger coping
skills in individuals with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, v49, pp329-339(11).
The Profile of Anger Coping Sills (PACS), an instrument used to evaluate these skills, was used in a study that demonstrated the effectiveness of anger management training for people with intellectual disabilities (IDs). The study seemed to demonstrate PACS' reliability in assessing anger coping skills and providing useful anger management information.
- Wilmot, William W. & Hocker, Joyce L. (2000). Interpersonal Conflict.New York, NY:
Written for the Interpersonal Conflict or Conflict Management course, this textbook examines the central principles of effective conflict management in all types of contexts--from romantic relationships to the workplace. With its combination of up-to-date research and examples, students will have both a theoretical and a practical foundation in conflict management.