How would you feel in this situation? Someone you knew greets you after your vacation and says, “Looks like you’ve put on a few pounds.” You might be initially stunned by this thoughtless and tactless comment. What follows might be anger. Your customers or peers might not tell you you’re fat, but something else might get you angry in sales. Here’s how to manage your anger and keep selling.
Set realistic expectations and boundaries with the people you work.
Is it reasonable to think that you will enjoy working with everyone? Of course not. Some people have a knack for pushing your buttons. They either are too direct and pushy or the opposite. They never contribute to the team or participate when they should. You find that working with them makes you angry.
The first step to manage your anger is to set realistic expectations. The likelihood of these people changing is very small. Don’t expect them to change. I predict they won’t change.
Try to limit your interactions with these people. That’s the first boundary you create. What you don’t experience will be less likely to anger you. Be sure to be polite when you do work with these people. People move to different departments and companies. Your peer could be your manager one day. Your subordinate could become a customer or hire you at a new company. That difficult person could control the customer satisfaction of your biggest account. Don’t write anyone off. Remember your manners and be polite.
Manage your anger.
Your first response when you’re angry might be to say something you later regret. The first thing to do when you’re angry, instead of taking any external action, is to pause. Take a breath. This pause separates your brain from your emotions. Next, ask yourself, “Why does this person need to do or say that?” You want to think about reasons for what they said. It could be they’re unhappy and you’re just the next person they saw. They could be frustrated with their own actions. This questioning separates your emotions from the situation. You’ll be less likely to be angry if you’re able to pause and think instead of say something you later regret.
Do not tolerate other’s angry behavior.
Sometimes you know that a meeting will end up in a heated conversation. I worked for a manager like that. He thought effective management was screaming at people to engender fear in anyone who worked for him. What he didn’t realize was that instead of fear, people hated working for him. What I didn’t understand was that the others that I worked with allowed him to scream at them. Getting yelled at wasn’t for me.
You can imagine I was stunned the first time he started yelling at me. I had lost a deal for which I worked very hard for many months. Unfortunately, my company couldn’t meet the customer’s increasing demands and make a profit. The deal became uncompetitive. My boss began to yell. I did what you should do when someone raises their voice. I calmly replied, “If you can’t talk in a civil tone, then I don’t need to listen.” He quickly yelled back even louder, “You can come back when you’re less emotional.” I replied without raising my voice, “I’ll come back when. you’re less emotional.” I walked out of his office.
Was it easy to maintain my composure? No it wasn’t, but I was determined not to sound like the out-of-control tyrant he was.
Managing your anger isn’t easy. Just remember what Mark Twain said, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”