Sometimes you just need to let things out.
When weasel politics come into play (instead of just the usual politics), my timer goes off. I know I should be more moderate but I don’t tolerate it, I choose not to play political games, they benefit nobody. I see it, recognize it and want to call it out publicly.
My ability to be incredibly hard and direct or just downright 4-letter offensive is legendary (but rare). My colleagues coined the term “Bad Captain” for when the Tourettes really kicks in – but that part doesn’t happen in the office.
Sometimes it’s the right approach – I’ve seen public calling-out work wonders on particularly toxic characters but more often it’s a career-limiting and collaboration-damaging thing to do.
If you face an underlying need to flame that doesn’t go away – you know – that urge to write down everything that’s wrong, calling out someone’s personal shortcomings, copying the entire world (and their bosses) and hitting send – remember the following advice…
It’s a bit like peeing in your pants as a kid, it feels warm for a few seconds but gets cold and uncomfortable very fast.
Rather than allowing me to blow a fuse, a former boss and I developed an understanding.
He recognized my need and would allow me to spend that magical half–hour furiously and perfectly crafting the necessary barb-laden email knowing that writing it was critical to my corporate sanity. He was even willing for me to hit send!
As long as it only went to him.
After throwing my mail-bomb at his inbox, he’d wait for me to grab a cup of tea, take a break and calm down and would then come over…
“I’ve read your mail. There’s some valid points in there. Do you want me to do anything with this or just hit delete?”
That simple response was everything I needed in order to release the pressure, ask for help, get a response and start getting the situation back under control.
If you have staff or team members with a relatively high level of professional passion, provide them the freedom to vent in a safe environment but support them in learning how to control it themselves and when to pick up the phone.