Posts Tagged ‘anger’

How to Heal a Toxic Work Environment

We spend nearly 1/3 of our lives at work. That’s an enormous amount of time and if the work environment is hostile it can be a nightmare. In the case of my client, he received a promotion within the company that created stress and disention among him and his workers. Fearing a blow-up at work, he was in need of an urgent solution. However, he was reluctant to accept my suggestions. Referring to his workers as “low life’s”, the first recommendation I made to him was an adjustment in his attitude and perception. This is the single most critical factor in changing any negative situation. Here are my recommendations for improving any toxic or stressful relationship:

1. Discuss the situation with your co workers. Ask them how they feel about the current circumstances. Validate their feelings with sincerity, not with a pre rehearsed response.

2. Explain your feelings as well. A transition such as this can be equally as uncomfortable and challenging for the one promoted. Letting them know you are struggling creates a commonality, thereby bonding both sides.

3. Express your concern for their well-being using such statements as “I really want you to feel comfortable working here.”

4. Ask how you can make things better for them. Be willing to listen to what they need and do your best to supply that.

5. Convey to them what you need from them that will better help you make the necessary changes. Make sure all requests on both sides are fair and reasonable.

6. Reassure them that you will give this a 100% effort. Thank them for their cooperation and suggestions.

It is vitally important to remember that a manager’s job is to bring out the best in his workers. In order to do that, he/she must put aside their ego (a “me” mentality) and work from a place of spirit (a “we” mindset).

Listen objectively. Show concern. Seek solutions. Plain and simple. It works with families, too.

Janet Pfeiffer, The Secret Side of Anger, The Great Truth

How to Have a Great President Debate: The Do’s, Do Not’s, and Never’s

Both presidential candidates are facing one of the greatest and most challenging debates in this nation’s history. With the current state of the economy and the passion for or against the current president, each has their work cut out for them. Knowing what to say and how to say it is important. Knowing what to avoid saying can be equally as important. Given the opportunity, here are my recommendations for both gentlemen:

1. Before beginning, leave your ego outside. There is no room for insecurities and ego in a debate. It interferes with clear thinking and concerns itself with image and personal desires.

2. Clearly identify each issue and a precise course of action. Be detailed in offering solutions. Explain the reason for the path you have chosen, citing statistics and facts if necessary.

3. Examine all possible solutions and options, taking into consideration the possible unforeseen obstacles and challenges that may occur. Always have a plan “B”.

4. Attack the issues, not the individual. It is easy to confuse the two. Keep them separate and apart. Attacking your opponent is a sign of weakness, fear, and insecurity.

5. Listen carefully and objectively to the other party, responding accurately to what they said as opposed to what you think you heard them say. Leave your own agenda and personal feelings for them out of the equation.

6. It’s ok to show emotion. It makes you human and relatable. It’s not appropriate to be emotional. That is viewed as weak and out of control.

7. Be authentic and transparent. Do not hide who you are, your weaknesses and faults, and mistakes made. People respect honesty.

8. Be strong, firm, and confident. Say what you mean and mean what you say. And say it without being mean.

9. Deal with facts only. Avoid making unsubstantiated comments. Have documented proof readily available.
Here is my list of the top Do’s, Do Not’s, and Never’s:

Do: remain calm, be brief and specific, and remain open-minded.

Do Not: embarrass, humiliate, insult, yell at or judge the other party.

Never Ever: assume, exaggerate, lie, distort facts, character assassinate, or blame. These behaviors are all rooted in fear and reveal one’s insecurities.

While these tips can help ensure a respectful and productive presidential debate this fall, they can be applied to everyday disputes that arise between any individuals. Try them. They work.

Share your comments and suggestions.
Janet Pfeiffer, The Secret Side of Anger

Healing Anger With Humor

Humor can be a valuable tool for dispersing and healing anger. In part, it diffuses the tension that builds when one is upset or frustrated. Muscles tense, blood pressure rises, and other physiological changes occur within the human body. With the rise of stress hormones comes the increased risk of heart disease and other cardio-vascular issues. Humor boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphines (a powerful and natural feel-good chemical), improves the function of the blood vessels and blood flow, and creates an overall sense of well-being.

While humor occurs naturally in some of us, for others it is not readily found. And yet, according to my guest, Allen Klein, there are ways people can incorporate humor into their daily lives. In his workshops, Allen teaches his students to use exaggeration as a method to reduce anger; “Imagine the worst that could happen,” he asks. “And if that occurred, then what? And what would come next? And next?” With each response, the scenario becomes more and more absurd. Looking back at the original source of upset and where it has ultimately led, the subject can better see the ludicrousness in it.

Allen also recommends using props. He carries rubber clown noses with him and when necessary, passes them around to lighten up a situation. When couples argue, he recommends each partner putting on a clown nose. It’s hard to be angry and fight when both parties look ridiculous.

Use signs, funny quips, and posters as a source of daily reminders to laugh. And use funny photos of loved ones to remind you of a joyous time. Fond memories will reignite those emotions.

And above all, look for opportunities to laugh – they’re all around you in everyday life situations. Allen recommended the following acronym:

L: Let go. Forgive the past and all those involved. Let go of shame, bitterness, fear or whatever else is holding you back.
A: Attitude: develop one of optimism and gratitude. Be grateful.
U: You are the only one who can do this. It’s up to U.
G: Go do it. Ideas don’t change the world. Actions do.
H: Humor is all around us. Seek it out. If you can’t find it, make some of your own.

Remember, you have a choice: you can be angry or laugh. Look for every excuse to laugh. You’ll feel better and those around you will as well.

Visit Allen Klein at or email him at