Monday, March 25, 2013

The Better Side Of Anger

It was the nth time that a supplier has failed us. If we analyze it logically, there were two options: Get mad or roll with the punches.

Since we’re not Vulcan, it’s not really a logical choice: what we felt is anger, defeat. Or both.

Can’t do much with defeat. But anger is totally different.

From childhood, we’re taught that anger is a “negative emotion”. It’s counter productive. It’s not effective.

That’s a lie.

First thing, we can’t control feeling anger more than we can control feeling happy. Emotions are emotions and cannot be controlled. What maybe ineffective is our behavior based on these emotions. And we are fully able to control behavior. So maybe it’s not effective to stand in the room full of people, shout in anger at your boss, threatening to quit. (Tried it, jury’s still out about how effective it really was).

Because anger is “bad”, we don’t talk about how anger opens the door to innovation and creativity. When you’re pissed, you’re starting to think about other options. What you can do differently.

So we can replace that supplier. We can readjust our work with them. Or divert money we spend to do stuff ourselves.

We can try something else that we didn’t think was possible, because what happened until now was acceptable. Just the way it is.

Few years ago, I got angry that another  build was thrown back to the development by the testers. We’ve introduced smoke tests. We changed the way worked because we were angry. (Ok, I got angry).

Anger is not a negative emotion. Don’t be afraid of it. Don’t contain it.

What you do with it maybe life-changing.

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