Sometimes, when you’re a manager, your team gets upset with you. They may be unhappy with a decision you’ve made or a new policy or an increase in workload. Of course, you aren’t in charge of keeping everyone happy all of the time, but you do want to respond to negative emotions, so they don’t erode trust or hold your team back. Here are some strategies for managing anger and resentment when they creep up:
• Balance your emotions before reacting to your team’s. Don’t take the anger or resentment personally. See these expressions as data, not a threat, and resist the urge to get defensive or to dismiss your team’s feedback.
• Be curious. Ask for more information. Offer your team members a safe space to vent to you without shame or worry of retribution and focus on what you can learn from their feedback.
• Enlist their help. Invite them to partner with you to explore solutions that address their concerns and benefit everyone. That way you can channel their frustration into a positive and productive outcome.
• Build deeper trust by owning your part. Even if you weren’t the direct cause of your team’s frustration, own up to any blind spots you may have and commit to continuing to learn and grow.
Anger and resentment across your team can make an already stressful leadership job feel worse. But how you respond to your employees’ frustrations is critical to ensuring negative emotions don’t limit your effectiveness. By following these suggestions, you can not only contain their anger but potentially leverage it for greater trust and motivation toward future performance.
How do you manage anger, frustration, and resentment on your team?
What do you do, to be more cohesive?
Chhaya, N. (2022, February). Managing Anger, Frustration, and Resentment on Your Team. Harvard Business Review.
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