When you reach your boiling point, what do you do with the steam?
This makes all the difference in your relationships at home, at
work, and, with yourself.

Do you know when you are angry? Many folks don't. Not only are
they not aware they are angry, they are not aware how they come
across to others when they are angry. This is a big problem...for everyone else. You would be surprised how few folks actually understand how they behave or how other folks see them. Unfortunately, they are not sensitive to their own attitudes, feelings emotions, and communication style.

Do you have high self-awareness? Do you have an accurate picture
of your behavior, tone of voice, facial expressions? If you are
unsure, sit down with the person you most trust and ask them to
paint an honest picture for you. Yes, that may be difficult to
ask, and to hear. It must be done, though, if you want to improve your relationships.

I recently heard a story about a manager whose employee brought
her a requested proposal for a new office system. After reading
the proposal briefly, the manager went up one side of the employee and down the other. Using language such as

"This is absurd."
"What were you thinking?"
"How long have you been with us?"
"You're making me wonder why I ever hired you."

All this was delivered from a standing position in a loud voice with harsh eye contact. The employee, completely taken aback and intimidated, went back to her cubicle furious. Her colleague asked her about the meeting and she described the reception. Soon, the story made the rounds of the department.

The next week, the manager met a colleague who said to her, "Wow!
You were really hard on Michelle. Are you planning on letting her go?"

The manager was stunned. "Why would you ever think that? She's
important to our operation." As they discussed the incident, the
manager realized that she had no perception of the way she had
delivered her blows to Michelle. She thought she had been simply
responding to the ideas brought to her. No idea of the effect of
her behavior on the employee. This manager needs to increase her


Before you go telling others what they need to improve within
themselves, look in the mirror. What are you doing? How are you
delivering your messages? Is your communication 'clean'?

Begin with yourself. How do you express your anger? Do you
express your anger or does your steam escape in inappropriate ways at the wrong people having been bottled up for too long?


You likely have heard the old story about the husband who has been chewed out at work who comes home and yells at his wife who
screams at the kids who kick the dog. If the husband had good
communication and conflict management skills, he would have
handled the issue at work in the first place, right?

If you feel intimidated, or you avoid conflict at all costs, you
need skills. Take a community college course and read some books. Take a program at www.WorkplacePeopleSkills.com
Seek out good ideas to increase your self-awareness and your skill

Conflict is not a four-letter word. It simply means to have
divergent ideas, needs, drives, wishes or demands. That's OK but
it is how we express those differences that takes the toll. Learn to express them in ways others can hear. It will build your self-confidence.


Pay attention to how you think, feel and respond in different
situations. Make a mental picture and rehearse how you would like to respond. Use your new skill set. Then, step out into the world.

Listen well when there is conflict. Look beneath the words to the
pain. For example, when someone is angry with you because a piece
of paper is missing, by listening carefully you may realize what
is underneath the anger. You might then say, "I understand that
not finding this piece of paper right now might make you late for
your meeting and you may look inefficient." That's the pain. By
giving it a name, both you and the other person deepen the
understanding of the situation. When you get really good at this,
you will also deepen your relationships.

Taking the time to build your self-awareness and your skill set is
well worth the effort. Everyone in your life will benefit. You
will benefit most of all.

© Rhoberta Shaler, PhD All rights reserved worldwide

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Rhoberta Shaler is the author of Wrestling Rhinos: Conquering Conflict in the Wilds of Work and founder of the Optimize Institute and www.WorkplacePeopleSkills.com . A well-respected psychologist, speaker, consultant and coach, she works with organizations that know their people are their top resource, and with enlightened leaders who know that building relationships must be a top priority. They know that working with Dr. Shaler creates right-sized, high-performance teams that are consistently effective and profitable--especially in a troubled economy.

Author of more than two dozen books and audio programs, Dr. Shaler offers cost-saving professional development through training delivered both in person and on the telephone. Call Dr. Shaler now and optimize your success. Visit www.OptimizeInstitute.com & subscribe to her ezine, The Rhino Wrestler