Workplace Outbursts: Diffuse Them Early On

I found an article titled workplace anger: compassion yields the best results, which I found quite interesting. This article talks about how to work with and address employees who have angry outbursts at work. I don’t doubt that most of us, at one time or another, have felt overwhelmed, irritated, and just plain mad because we feel like our company continues to ask us to accomplish goals and meet deadlines that just aren’t possible because of our workload. While having an angry outburst certainly is not appropriate in the workplace, they do happen.

So, how does the supervisor handle this type of situation? I think it really depends on the supervisor’s leadership and management style, but there really is a specific way to handle situations like this: have compassion. Sit with the employee and find out why he or she feels so overwhelmed, what triggered the outburst, and how the supervisor can help to resolve the issue.

In addition to the items outlined in this article (which I really do like), I would also recommend being proactive in working with the employee to make sure that his or her frustration level doesn’t reach the boiling point. Having weekly or bi-monthly meetings to discuss everything on his or her plate is critical in ensuring that the employee isn’t being overloaded with too much work. During these meetings you can also discuss prioritization of projects, reasonable due dates, and possible vacation days (employees need a break every
once in a while). This proactive approach can combat and diffuse potentially dangerous and upsetting outbursts.

Does your supervisor sit with you to discuss what projects you are working on and reasonable due dates on a regular basis?

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