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Ever Heard of the “24 Hour Rule?” 3 Anger Management Tips

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Anger Management Tips 101

The other night I sat in a parents meeting for my son who is playing high school basketball this year. After the coach had talked about policies, schedules etc… The school Athletic Director spoke.

He pleaded with parents to follow the “24 Hour Rule.” He said that whenever you have a gripe with a coach don’t approach him right after the game. If you do, the coach may act in a way he shouldn’t, which may cause you to act in a way you shouldn’t and vice versa.

Instead, he said, wait 24 hours, sleep on it and then deal with it. This is anger management 101, but something we all need to be reminded of from time to time as leaders.

I suppose you are a lot like me. There are times when it is best I take a long walk around the building before talking to an employee for example. There are times when it is best that I remove myself from the heat of the situation before I say something I regret.

Last week I wrote a well received post titled “Whoaaa! Before You Send That Angry Email – 3 Important Tips.” In it I spoke about the need to rest on it, talk to someone before sending the email and meeting instead of emailing. Today I want to provide some additional tips on managing your anger.

Here are three tips that have worked for me, but that at the same time I am still trying to personally master. They are important for leaders to consider.

1. Come from a different place. If your heart isn’t beating that you care and instead beating that you want to hit someone; wait. In this case rest on it until you are at a place in which you do care. This is easier said than done, but it is possible.

Remember the reason you became a leader, which is hopefully because you care about people and want to help them succeed. Once you are at that place, you are in a better position to address the situation.

2. Identify causes and solutions. Instead of focusing on the anger, choose to focus on how to resolve the issue. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix a thing and may make things worse.

Look inwardly, is there something you should be doing differently? Often times anger distorts and magnifies the negative aspects of an issue. Are you personally hungry, stressed, tired or not feeling well?

Does the employee that made you angry clearly understand the expectations? Is there something else beyond this persons control causing the issue? Was the intent of this person to hurt or make you angry?

3. Get some exercise. The above two anger management tips are mental, this one is physical. It is amazing what a little exercise can do to cool you off. Going for a walk or run can clear your mind as can playing a game you love. The key is to just get out and do something different than thinking about why you are angry.

What other tips do you personally have for dealing with anger? We would love to hear them.

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Leave a Comment

  • Dawud Miracle, Web Business Without the Overwhelm November 16, 2012, 10:44 am

    I saw an interview once with Warren Buffet when he was asked what was the best advice he ever received.
    He said, “Tom Murphy, forty years ago, said to me one day, ‘never forget, Warren, you can tell a guy to go to hell tomorrow. You don’t give up the right. So just keep your mouth shut today and see if you feel the same way tomorrow.”

  • Mike Rogers November 16, 2012, 2:01 pm

    I like that Dawud!

  • Scott Wagers November 20, 2012, 4:39 pm

    What you write is so true. Steven Covey points out it that is is the space between action and reaction that is important. Also people react to anger with defensiveness.
    One truth that I remind myself when someone makes me angry, is that if a person has truly consistent horrible behavior they will demonstrate it again in the future and you can be prepared when then do to calmly respond to their behavior once you have had time to think about it. It will also be an opportunity to highlight their poor behavior to others effectively diminishing the negative impact.

  • Mike Rogers November 21, 2012, 12:08 pm

    Thanks for the comments Scott. I agree with all that you have said.
    Sometimes silence at the moment is the best answer.

  • Lynn Ferguson-Pinet November 22, 2012, 12:13 pm

    Great advice , one question i would pose is the issue of when you dont get angry enough. Your advice is great to ensure people effectively and constructively manage theirr strong reaction to a situation. Its made me think about the issue of advice on what if you never get angry. In my experience that is also a leadership skill that needs to be developed in people that are less forceful, they generally are either stifflng their emotions too much and in turn potentially not addressing issues that should be addressed. Just a thought.

  • Mike Rogers November 27, 2012, 12:57 pm

    Thanks Lynn. I personally wouldn’t consider not getting angry as being something you need to develop. I believe that allows you to be level headed instead and see things from a better place. Anger often leads to irrational actions has been my experience.

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