It’s been a rough couple of weeks. My father is very ill and my mother is suffering from caregiver’s syndrome. It’s hard for me to see my mom, the original “Florida Hurricane,” starting to slow down because she can’t move like she used to. My work has become a welcome distraction for my feelings. Work can be a great place to make you feel better.
Turning to work for uplift has made me remember some of the great bosses I’ve worked for and the people I’ve worked with. You want to bring joy to other people at work? Here’s what you can do.
Control your anger. Don’t ever do anything when you’re angry. At some point it will happen. A subordinate will miss a very important deadline. Someone will say something that pushes your buttons. You will get angry. Just remember, when you are angry, your logic is functioning at the lowest level — if it’s functioning at all. When you are angry you must avoid talking to anyone. Avoid putting anything in writing, too. I can guarantee you that if you break these rules then you will regret it later.
There were times when I left a meeting and was angry at what transpired in the meeting. I can still remember one in particular that happened almost 20 years ago (and I still remember it!) I was in an important meeting and made a suggestion. Another manager made a loud sound of scoffing at my idea. I’m sure he would never do that to one of the guys. I was stunned and then really angry. Because I was stunned, I didn’t attack him back. Instead of writing anything, or saying anything, I let myself cool down until I could rationally address the situation. I could then decide either to let it go or calmly do something about it.
There’s one thing in business that really isn’t fair. Women who get angry get labeled as emotional. Men who get angry are thought of differently. They are forceful or passionate about their objectives. Women don’t have the luxury of getting angry at work. It’s essential that you control your anger.
Tell people how you feel. Just because you need to control your anger doesn’t mean you should control all your emotions. The best managers let their subordinates know how they feel about their work. Some of the emotions you should be showing are appreciation and gratitude. In some organizations today they have rules making it a requirement that you write notes to say thank you to people who have done good work or have done nice things for others. Making the process mandatory does diminish the impact of the note, but it still does have a positive effect on others.
When’s the last time you said something positive about someone else’s work? Even if you’re not a manager, you can say thank you to someone for helping you with a project or simply doing a good job. If you are a manager, most subordinates want to know how they’re doing and they don’t want to wait for their annual review to find out how you think about their work.