THE SHORT FUSE

Anger management in the workplace and at home is a fundamental component for peace and harmony. Having an explosive nature often clouds the decision-making process. Like a grenade with the pin pulled and the spoon ready to flip, an individual that has a short fuse may regret the damage he or she has inflicted up others and themselves. Once the smoke of the chaos has cleared and calm has reclaimed its ground, the evidence of destruction reveals itself. The uncontrollable shards have cut through the innocent or anyone within the vicinity of the impact zone. Impatience, temper tantrums, emotional outbursts, stubbornness, or just the inability to comprehend can be the match to start a person on a path that will lead him or her into a mine field of problems.

In the workplace a short fuse can be manifested by a co-worker, manager, executive, or customer. In most circumstances, working with a person that is combustible for the smallest infraction or oversight, makes the environment undesirable. Individuals with unsolvable anger issues can be discharged as well as cause others to be unemployed because of their behavior. Managers and employers have lost good talent through their sudden inappropriate outbursts. Therefore, when working conditions have a volatile element, there are steep costs to those companies that allow negative actions. Some repercussions for strong vocal blowups by leadership are a lack of confidence by the workforce, high employee turnovers, poor attitudes, a drop in productivity, diminished quality, and substandard customer service. The ripple effect by one loose cannon can take an extensive amount of time to recover; before returning calm and a sense of job security back into the workforce. Unfortunately, if the owner is the frequent offender, there are very few options left for the worker.

An option when dealing with an unruly employee is to have a well-developed Operations Manual. The detailed guidelines in such an official document not only protects the worker, but management also. It is important that all employees read and acknowledge that they have read the manual. If there is anything that the employee does not understand, it is essential that management explains the section in question. Protocols, scenario, and instructions concerning co-worker confrontations and leadership to employee interaction needs to be clear and concise. If there are addendums or modifications to the manual, all personnel should be notified at the earliest convenience. It is just as important that there is a confirmation the changes have been received. If there are repetitive infractions, discipline and resolution should be quick and decisive, as well as impartial.

Sometimes when a problem escalates from an occasional temper tantrum to consistent negative attacks, a manager may be warranted to dismiss the employee. Discharges can be emotional events and needs to happen in a professional manner, without emotion or additional discussion as not to create disruption and misinterpretation among the rest of the staff. Inform the other workers of the event and give a formal statement to maintain harmony and confidence within the organization. Often, rumors are created by the lack of evidence and employee-employer trust can falter if a dismissal is focused on the individual and not the action.

A company should have a plan of action to counteract situations involving individuals with Short Fuses.

  1. Assess the incident. Do not overreact. Some anger has nothing to do with work or the other employees. Home life can contribute emotional outbursts by good employees. Have a discussion to discover the root of the problem or solution resolve the assurance.
  2. Verbal reprimand. Confront an issue before it escalates into an infraction.
  3. Written reprimand. Help the employee understand the limits and bounds of his or her actions. Review the operations manual with the employee to assure his or her that the reprimand is not out of prejudice but of concern for them, as they are a valued contributor to the company. Give him or her the ability to make a written statement on their behalf.
  4. Dismissal. This is a last resort and an unfortunate action, but it is a manager’s mandate to provide a safe and productive environment for all its employees.

Everyone has limits to their emotional capacity to handle stress in the workplace and at home. Learning to manage one’s own feelings is a sign of professionalism and maturity. If anger is the first place the mind goes to in order to cope with stress, it would be prudent to seek professional council or medical help, before an unfortunate circumstance takes place.

b!~more means having the ability to do self-diagnostics one’s emotional intelligence and receive education to improve your quality of life, then help others improve theirs.