NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--“When emotions run high, take a break and step away. It is very important to think of consequences before we act, and we can’t think clearly when emotions overcome us,” said Oxana Olach, a tax manager at Anchin, Block & Anchin, LLC, the largest single office accounting firm in the country.
Olach learned about job-related behavioral issues when she attended her first anger management session recently. It was organized by the NYC-based Women’s Advancement Compact (WAC). Guest speaker Ginny Brown, an anger management professional, guided a mostly female audience of 70 corporate executives through the dynamics of anger management. The focus was on an understanding of the corporate emotional intelligence vital to changing the communication paradigm for oneself and for colleagues.
The event, which was sponsored and held at Anchin, featured, in addition to Brown’s tutorial, the splintering of the crowd into seven informal discussion groups to trade scenarios and return with new ideas— a technique established by WAC founder Deborah Goldstein to maximize attendees’ experience, ensure takeaways, and introduce like-minded professionals to one another.
The exploration of the nature of workplace anger had been a theme throughout Brown’s career in family dynamics education, although she admits she really didn’t take her understanding to its current level until discovering Daniel Goleman’s Best Seller Emotional Intelligence (1995). In sharing with the WAC audience this newfound connection between emotional intelligence (EQ) and the thwarting of angry tendencies, she illustrated, with charm and humor, how through becoming self-aware, self-regulatory, empathetic, and armed with social skills, we can avoid our own outbursts, and tame them in others. By design, EQ provides corporate women with the capacity for leadership, paving the way for career advancement.
Brown went on to explain how although we find ourselves functioning intelligently in a modern world, we sometimes instinctively default to the primitive function of anger to avoid the danger of perceived threats. “Anger is a symptom, like a fever,” says Brown, “which serves as an alert that something else is wrong.” She calls anger a “secondary emotion,” and equates an angry outburst to the opening of an umbrella to protect ourselves. EQ is born when we finally ask the question “what’s under our umbrellas?”
The brain science behind anger was explored in remarkable depth, and an indication of the cues that trigger anger proved helpful in understanding the origins of this workplace epidemic. Before it was over, the group was able to come away with the contents of Brown’s anger management “toolbox” of conflict resolution strategies, and even offer a little real-time feedback about how they plan to incorporate the advice into their own lives. “Ultimately, you should be using your EQ skills to get what you want,” says Brown. “It will feel phony at first, but practice will carve new channels in the brain and make things come more naturally.”
About the Women’s Advancement Compact
The Women’s Advancement Compact (WAC) is a community of NYC corporate professionals sharing the common goal of career advancement, while integrating family life and personal growth. Services include professional development, family dynamics and relationship counseling, physical fitness/health events, book groups and food and wine events. WAC offers businesses the opportunity to outsource or bolster existing women’s initiatives with the bonus of networking across industry lines.