Science even backs it up now (Picture: Getty)
Forget a keep calm and carry on mindset, it turns out ‘hulk mode’ could be the secret to unlocking your potential at work.
Well, sort of.
The research, from the American Psychological Association, found that anger typically elicited the best performance compared to joy, sadness or neutrality.
These findings are also pretty compelling for women – who are constantly made to feel by society that they can’t be ‘emotional’ in the workplace.
‘Women walk a tight-rope at work, with a pendulum swinging regularly from “too cold” to “too emotional”, where anger is the ultimate criticism,’ explains Nicola Kemp, lead facilitator at Good Shout.
However, these findings show there’s power to normalising anger at work.
‘From a business perspective, it is also really important to recognise that anger and frustration with the status quo is a huge tool for innovation and creativity,’ adds Nicola.
‘Recognising what it is you are angry about in the workplace and what you want to challenge with temerity can help you realise the power of your own voice.’
Life coach Natale Trice tells Metro that anger is a signal from the body that we need to act on something, ;whether it’s Tina stealing your milk, John always being late for meetings, or Kate taking credit for your work’.
‘The reality is that rather than letting the anger lead to explosive outbursts, using hurtful names and words or sulking, consider how you can use that surge of anger as a superpower for success,’ she says.
Ultimately, it’s all about letting the anger work for you, not against you, adds Natalie.
After all, even science now shows that anger could be best fuel for motivation to succeed.
Don’t shy away from this feeling (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Nicola also stresses that it’s important not to be afraid of anger when we experience it.
She explains: ‘The challenge, particularly for women in the workplace, is that we are hard-wired to go into “flight or fight” mode rather than recognise our own anger is natural.
‘That fear stops us from having uncomfortable conversations, which could ultimately help move us forward and stop wasting our time or energy on certain things.’
On this point, Nicola says it’s important for women to speak when they’re angry – even when their voice is shaking.
She continues: ‘Men have been told for years to “feel the fear and do it anyway”, but the truth is that privilege simply isn’t afforded to women, who are disproportionately diminished and judged for their emotions.
‘This is why it’s so liberating to recognise that anger is a tool for change, not something to be ashamed of.
‘As the activist, Maggie Kuhn, says: “Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind – even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants.”’
However, it’s worth pointing out that some experts have noted that this is only the case for short-lived anger. So, while anger may motivate short-term goals, long-term frustrations are not likely to have the same impact.
NYU psychologist Dr. Yamalis Diaz told Fox News: ‘It has long been understood that when someone is a little activated by arousal/stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, it sharpens attention and focus – while too much or prolonged exposure to activation (emotional arousal) would be detrimental to cognitive/adaptive functioning.’
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Anger could be your superpower for success.