Why Getting Mad Can Benefit Your Projects

"Get mad, then get over it." --Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.)

Generally, people consider anger to be a negative emotion. But it doesn't have to be.

Let's review the positive side of anger:

Anger can benefit relationships.
Many of us are told to hide our anger, but doing so could be detrimental to your relationships.

For example, if you're angry because of a mistake that a project team member has made and you don't speak up, he won't know that he has done something wrong. He will probably keep doing it and enter into a vicious cycle.

On the other hand -- if justifiable and aimed at finding a solution --expressing dissatisfaction can strengthen relationships. Such honest communication can help solve problems among stakeholders and build cohesiveness into your team.

Anger can motivate.
Anger can prove to be a powerful motivation force, helping you "go the extra mile" and keep working despite problems or barriers.
 
For example, if you're criticized for your work, you may feel further motivated to do better because you are angry and want to prove that you can improve your level of performance.

In project management, if we are able to produce what is called  "positive anger" in our team, they will be more motivated to achieve results. But don't make a team member mad just for the sake of it. Find the right words to push them in the right direction.

Anger can indicate an optimistic personality.
Ironically, happy people have something in common with angry people. Both tend to be optimistic.

Take the study of risk management, for example. Dr. J.S. Lerner, professor of public policy and management at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, found that angry people expressed optimistic risk estimates. Estimates of angry people more closely resemble those of happy people than those of fearful people.
 
It's okay to get mad, but always behave professionally and treat people respectfully. Don't let wrong behavior undercut a right message.

At the end of the day, we're all human. We all have feelings, one of which is getting mad. Use positive anger when you can. Above all, be able to communicate when you're angry in a way that doesn't undercut your message.

Have you ever used anger in a positive way in your projects?

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