Streamline - Summer 2011 - (Page 25)

BY DONNA J. LAWSON, WASTEWATER TECHNICIAN II Anger in the Workplace – What It Really Costs You AS A WASTEWATER technician, I deal in realities. Chemistry, biology, mathematics and mechanics are the building blocks of my world. All things are analyzed, simplified and justified. At least, I would prefer everything to fit in nice little boxes. As everyone knows, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, right? Well, not entirely. Whatever the source of the anger, the effect of expressing anger is the same: It separates people from one another. People do not live in separate, sterile environments. People live and work with other people, thence the rub. After many years as a manager, one surprising fact I have observed is that an individual’s personality is often more of a limiting career factor than his or her technical knowledge. Employees having a positive attitude, spirit of cooperation and a willingness to learn tend to succeed more than those who do not possess these qualities. It seems that the most difficult task an individual must do is to overcome one’s self. One of the most common behavior patterns that can occur between people working together is anger. Anger is a basic emotion. Many different types of situations can contribute to producing anger. Often it comes from feelings of frustration, injustice or jealousy. Whatever the source of the anger, the effect of expressing anger is the same: It separates people from one another. It divides a team and the effects are long lasting. In The Six Fundamentals of Success: The Rules for Getting It Right for Yourself and Your Organization, author Stuart R. Levine states that, “Anger is a legitimate response to some situations. It’s important to acknowledge it. But expressing anger and losing control are two different things. Losing control is inappropriate and self-indulgent. It temporarily makes you feel strong, but in the eyes of others it weakens you. It harms relationships, sometimes irreparably. It pushes people away. It causes embarrassment. It compromises your reputation. If you feel yourself losing control, give yourself time to regain perspective by waiting an hour or a day to address the issue.” Wise words indeed and wonderful if always followed. Over the past several months, I have been given unique opportunities for personal growth in this particular area, albeit a not always pleasant experience (for me or those around me). A quick sent email expressing my frustration over lost computer software data got me a trip to the office, hurt the innocent recipient and caused my boss to wonder how I might handle similar situations in the future. The incident did change the way I approach my job, how I react to stress and how I present myself to others. Tyron Edwards wrote, “To rule one’s anger is well; to prevent it is still better.” What do I take away? What is the calculated answer? The only one I have found so far is to be aware of the damage it causes. Take the extra 15 minutes and let it go. Regret can last much longer. References: The Six Fundamentals of Success: the Rules for Getting It Right for Yourself and Your Organization by Stuart T. Levine; published by Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. Copyright 2004, 2006 by Stuart Levine & Associates, LLC. Webster’s 21st Centur y Book of Quotations; Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville. Copyright 1992 by Thomas Nelson Inc. 25

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Summer 2011

From the President
From the Executive Director
The Water Tastes Good in Western Virginia
Virginia WARN, Help in an Emergency
Uranium Mining
Proper Disposal of Pharmacy Products
VELAP: Where Are We Now?
Why Did the Paramecium Cross the Road?
Anger in the Work Place: What It Really Costs You
Litigation and Water Wars
Hydrant Flow Testing–Data You Need
What A Ride!
Conference 2011 Highlights
Throwing My Loop
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
New VRWA Benefit
VRWA Mailbag
Welcoming New Members
Training Calendar
Board Of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index To Advertisers/ Ad.Com

Streamline - Summer 2011