Anger is actually a cover-up for fear, hurt, or sadness, but we’re so caught up in our anger that we rarely connect with the soft emotions it tends to belie. Typically when someone makes us angry, we see a direct relationship between our upset and their comment or action. Yet all of our emotions are driven by beliefs and life experiences, which can explain why some people are oblivious to the same comment that seems to unravel someone else. So what might this suggest? If I have a belief somewhere in the recesses of my mind (whether from my conscious awareness or unawareness) that I do not measure up or may not be good enough, and someone suggests my project is lagging a bit or may not be addressing all the issues, I may find myself feeling angry. However, if that is not a belief residing in my subconscious or past experiences, I may simply ask “How so?” or “Tell me more,” thereby allowing a healthy discussion culminating in my improved project. Point being, once we know our stuff, we can start to manage our anger before we react to comments that end up robbing us of the very credibility we deserve.
This is but one example of the value of self-awareness in leadership and loveship.