21 jul. 2010

Top Ten Tips for Managing Anger

Suppressing anger is not necessarily a good thing. Whilst maintaining composure enables you to agreeably interact with other people allowing anger to simmer under the surface is usually counterproductive. Learning how to manage anger, when your ‘buttons’ are being pushed, will help you control your emotions and diffuse your anger time bomb.

Caring and Sharing
Instead of sharing negative emotions via print, email or voicemail messages take the time to express your feelings in person. Being able to share, what is making you angry, in spoken words will allow you to soften the blow. Angry words that are not delivered in person can cause more damage than intended.

Soften the Blow
When delivering a message in person adding the acknowledgment of “I understand…” will allow you to lower tension and support a potential agreement or compromise.
Practice Makes Perfect
When anger is starting to simmer, practice asking requests of other people instead of holding on to tension and allowing anger to boil over. Directly addressing your frustration, with a particular person, helps reduce the build up of anger.

Take Notice
If you begin to feel threatened by something someone says take notice of how you are feeling but aim to keep communication open. Getting angry will only encourage the other person to shut down communication.
Agree to Disagree
When someone is expressing anger, frustration or pain repeating their words back to them will help keep the speaker centred. Mirroring in this way also gives you a deeper understanding of the other person’s viewpoint.
Be Responsible
Do not blame other people for your feelings. Taking responsibility for the way you feel will help you understand why your anger surfaces.

Give and Take
Just because you are angry it doesn’t mean that someone else can’t be angry too. Being able to listen to the other side of the argument means that you are able to acknowledge both sides of the conflict and can therefore reach some level of compromise much sooner.

Play it Cool
If anger is raging aim to take some timeout before dealing with the issue that is causing you distress. Being able to step away from the issue will allow your anger to subside enough so that you can look at the situation more objectively.
Take Control
Learning to take control of your negative emotions means that you are more able to maintain self-control in any situation of high conflict. The good news is that the more you practice doing this the easier it will be to master and manage your anger.

Deal With It
Instead of pretending nothing is wrong, and suppressing negative emotion, plan to speak up and voice your frustration at the earliest suitable moment. Do not however, use this opportunity to blow up. Doing that will close communication down with others, so aim to speak with caution and due care. Showing others that you are able to control your anger, even in the most conflicting circumstances, will show you in a very positive light.

How to Manage Anger


• Are you often angry?
• Do you frequently overreact?
• Do you take your anger out on someone other than the person you’re angry with?
• Do you hold grudges, pout, or sulk?
• Do you stay angry for a long time?
• Are you scared of your anger?
• Are other people scared of your anger?
• Does your anger negatively affect the people you live or work with?
• Do you ever get violent when you’re angry?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you may have a problem with anger. And anger may be keeping you from communicating effectively.

Anger is one of the most primal and complex feelings in the range of human emotions. Although it is neither good nor bad, its misuse causes a great deal of suffering:
• Undermining trust, loyalty, and teamwork
• Destroying relationships
• Creating a hostile environment
• Lowering productivity
• Contributing to health problems
• Incurring legal expenses
• Contributing to violence
The problem with anger, as Aristotle observed over 2,500 year ago, is this: “Anyone can become angry — that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way — this is not easy.”

Anger does three things.

1. It alerts us to a problem. It’s like a siren, warning us of a threat to our safety or to the safety of those we care for.
2. It focuses our attention. When we’re angry, we have trouble thinking about anything else.
3. It gives us energy. Anger floods the bloodstream with chemicals that turbocharge the body and prepare it to take action.
Here’s an example of anger in action. A department store floor manager, late for a meeting and thinking about 10 different problems, overhears an associate call a customer a “fat cow.” She stops dead in her tracks. For the moment she forgets everything else. She steps in to deal with the customer and the employee.

Since each person’s response to anger is unique, you have become an expert about your anger pattern.

Hot Buttons

We all have different Hot Buttons, things that trigger a strong emotional reaction in us — people’s attitudes or actions, events, situations, etc.

They strike us as unfair, unjust, or just plain wrong. And they irritate, annoy, vex, anger, or enrage us.

Not everybody is bothered by the same thing that bothers us, and sometimes even that realization bothers us.

There are three steps to dealing with our hot buttons: 1. Observe. 2. Analyze. 3. Change.


The first step in dealing with our hot buttons is to become aware of them — without judgment or shame.
• What type of incident, situation, or person typically “pushes your buttons?”
• What are you doing when it happens?
• What are other people doing?
• Where are you?
• Who are you with?
• How tired or stressed are you?

Do you recognize any pattern?

A pattern is something like this: "When X happens, I feel Y."
For example:
When I’m late for an appointment and I get stuck in traffic, I get angry.
When my boss asks me to stay late, I get angry.

What’s your pattern?

For the next week pay attention to how you react internally when one of your hot buttons gets pushed.


Now that you have some awareness of what typically triggers your anger, you can analyze your pattern.

Ask yourself what you’re thinking, when you get mad. What judgments are you making?

When you’re late for an appointment and stuck in traffic, do you think you’re stupid and you should have left earlier?

Or do you think you’re helpless and wish someone would take care of the problem for you?

Or do you think it’s a conspiracy and everyone’s ganging up to make you late?

When your boss asks you to stay late, do you think she’s being unreasonable? Or do you recall every other time she’s ever imposed on you and conclude that she’s an inconsiderate person and quite possibly the most incompetent boss in the world? Or do berate yourself for not standing up for yourself?

What are you thinking?

Now, stop. Don’t judge or justify what you’re thinking. Simply admit it.

And challenge it. Challenge what you’re thinking.

Ask yourself, what evidence do I have to support my thinking? Are there other possible explanations?

Could it be that I overscheduled my day and I didn’t leave enough time to get to my next appointment?

Could it be that my boss got a last minute project dumped on her, and she’s as put out as I am?

Could it be — and this possibility is the one that’s most devastating to our ego — could it be that other people’s lives, thoughts, and actions don’t revolve around us?


Albert Ellis, a well-known psychologist, believes that most of our hot buttons are based on what he calls awfulizing. When things don’t go our way, we think, “It’s awful! It’s terrible! It’s horrible! I can’t stand it!”

He suggests we change the way we think — and talk — about our problems.

Instead of telling ourselves, “It shouldn’t be this way,” think, “I don’t like it. I wish it were different.” Taking the “should” out of it takes some of the sting out of it.

Instead of “Traffic shouldn’t be so bad at this hour,” say, “I don’t like getting stuck in traffic.”

Instead of “My boss shouldn’t dump work on me at the last minute,” say, “I don’t like it when she does.”

Instead of telling ourselves, “I can’t stand it,” think, “It bothers me a great deal. I don’t like it. I’ve survived worse things than this. I’m strong. I can do something about this.”

Instead of, “I can’t stand this traffic,” consider, “I dislike this traffic. I wish the roads were clear. But I’ve been through a lot worse than this. Maybe it’s time to put on a CD and chill out.”

Instead of, “I can’t stand it when she makes me stay late,” say, “I don’t like staying late, especially on a Friday night, but it isn’t the end of the world. I’ll have to think of some way to reward myself over the weekend.”

Recognize and accept your hot buttons. Challenge them. Change them by creating a new way of thinking about them.
©Chris Witt, all rights reserved.

LET'S SHARE OUR OPINIONS & FEELINGSWhat sort of situations make you angry …

... at home?
... at work?
... in public places?
... in general?

How do you deal with anger? Can you always manage it?

Do you ever regret what you do or say when you get angry?

Do you think you could/should manage your anger in a smarter way?

20 jul. 2010

Chinese companies 'rent' white foreigners

By Lara Farrar, for CNN

Chinese companies hire white people to portray executives or clients
Often hired in second-tier Chinese cities to impress clients and officials
Usually out-of-work models and actors, or English teachers, are hired for these jobs
Known by local actors as "White Guy Window Dressing" or a "Face Job"
Beijing, China (CNN) -- In China, white people can be rented.

For a day, a weekend, a week, up to even a month or two, Chinese companies are willing to pay high prices for fair-faced foreigners to join them as fake employees or business partners.

Some call it "White Guy Window Dressing." To others, it's known as the "White Guy in a Tie" events, "The Token White Guy Gig," or, simply, a "Face Job."

And it is, essentially, all about the age-old Chinese concept of face. To have a few foreigners hanging around means a company has prestige, money and the increasingly crucial connections -- real or not -- to businesses abroad.

"Face, we say in China, is more important than life itself," said Zhang Haihua, author of "Think Like Chinese." "Because Western countries are so developed, people think they are more well off, so people think that if a company can hire foreigners, it must have a lot of money and have very important connections overseas. So when they really want to impress someone, they may roll out a foreigner."

Or rent one.

Last year, Jonathan Zatkin, an American actor who lives in Beijing, posed as the vice president of an Italian jewelry company that had, allegedly, been in a partnership with a Chinese jewelry chain for a decade.

When is being foreign a career advantage?

Zatkin was paid 2,000 yuan (about $300) to fly, along with a couple of Russian models, to a small city in the central province of Henan where he delivered a speech for the grand opening ceremony of a jewelry store there.

"I was up on stage with the mayor of the town, and I made a speech about how wonderful it was to work with the company for 10 years and how we were so proud of all of the work they had done for us in China," Zatkin said. "They put up a big bandstand and the whole town was there and some other local muckety-mucks."

The requirements for these jobs are simple. 1. Be white. 2. Do not speak any Chinese, or really speak at all, unless asked. 3. Pretend like you just got off of an airplane yesterday.

Those who go for such gigs tend to be unemployed actors or models, part-time English teachers or other expats looking to earn a few extra bucks. Often they are jobs at a second- or third-tier city, where the presence of pale-faced foreigners is needed to impress local officials, secure a contract or simply to fulfill a claim of being international.

"Occasionally companies want a foreign face to go to meetings and conferences or to go to dinners and lunches and smile at the clients and shake people's hands," read an ad posted by a company called Rent A Laowai (Chinese for "foreigner") on the online classified site thebeijinger.com.

It continued: "There are job opportunities for girls who are pretty and for men who can look good in a suit."

Click here for in-depth news on China

People like Brad Smith. When Smith -- the nom de plume of the Beijing-based American actor -- answered CNN's phone call on a recent morning, he was standing outside a meeting room at a Ramada Inn in Hangzhou, a city about 100 miles outside of Shanghai. Today's job: Pretend to be an architect from New York and give design plans for a new museum to local officials.

"They have not told me what my name is today. I think it is Lawrence or something," said Smith -- unlike some jobs, no fake business cards were given to hand out.

Earlier that morning he went over his script with his Chinese "business partners" at a Kentucky Fried Chicken. "It says, 'Good morning distinguished leaders. It is my privilege to participate in this program'," said Smith, who asked that his real name not be used for fear it could jeopardize future jobs.

If Smith is asked a question, he is told to pretend to answer as his "translator" pretends to understand.

Occasionally, these jobs can go awry. Smith said 18 months ago Beijing police showed up at his apartment after a financial company he worked at for a couple of months in Xi'an, a city in western China, allegedly swindled millions of yuan out of clients.

"That company said I was the guy in charge," he said. "I didn't even remember the company's name. After that, I decided I was never going to use my passport again with these fake companies. The small gigs are much less dangerous." Sometimes companies will hire Caucasians simply to sit in the office a few hours a day near the window where clients and customers can see them.

White women are also a hot commodity, sometimes to pose as phony foreign girlfriends, or, in the case of Vicky Mohieddeen, to pretend to be an oil tycoon.

Mohieddeen, who is Scottish, took a job in 2008 to attend what she describes as some sort of "oil drilling conference" in Shandong province for 300 yuan ($44). Several busloads of foreigners, with nationalities ranging from Pakistani to Nigerian, were trucked to the event, she said. They were greeted by brass bands and feted with a sumptuous dinner.

"I was like, 'Yeah, we have a lot of oil in Scotland.' I didn't know what to say. It was a bit nerve-racking. We were guests of honor of the vice mayor. We were put in a nice hotel. It was quite fancy."

For Mohieddeen, who had just arrived in Beijing at the time, the experience, albeit bizarre, was an introduction to a side of China most foreigners will never see.

"It is part of what China is all about, you know," Mohieddeen said. "There is quite an elaborate fantasy world going on here where if everyone buys into it, it does not matter if it is the truth. Those kinds of experiences give me a fuller understanding of the way the culture works."

For rent in China: White People

In your opinion:

o What good reasons may k Chinese companies have to rent white people?
o In what cases would you justify this action?
o Are there any negative implications in this practice?

What Your Workspace Says About You
Larry Buhl, for Yahoo! HotJobs, Yahoo! HotJobs

If you spend a lot of time at a desk, personalizing the space makes sense--whether it's a private corner office or a shared cubicle. But just as your clothes and body language make an impression on others, your workspace gives coworkers and clients a distinct impression about you. Plants, books, artwork--even your name plaque--transmit clues about your efficiency, your sociability, and your competence, experts say. "Everything in your office sends a message, whether you want it to or not," says Lisa Marie Luccioni, an adjunct professor of communication at the University of Cincinnati.
So what might they be thinking when they see your space?

You'd rather be fishing (or skiing, or skydiving, or building birdhouses). Evidence: Pictures and artifacts from your hobby on every surface.

There's a delicate balance between sharing your interests and giving the impression that you're daydreaming all day about jumping out of planes or skiing, according to Barbara Pachter, business etiquette expert and the author of "New Rules at Work": "Pictures of your hobby are good conversation starters, but if you have too many of them, it makes people wonder whether you're really daydreaming about fly-fishing."

They can hang around. Evidence: A full candy dish, aspirin in the drawer, well-tended plants, pictures of children and babies.

"Things like an open door, candy, a comfortable guest chair, and photos of people--but not pictures of objects--signal an extroverted workspace that people will feel free to linger in," says Sam Gosling, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas.

They shouldn't hang around. Evidence: Flimsy guest chair, guest chair covered in files, or no guest chair. Your desk faces away from guests. Minimal or no decoration.

"Even if your office has photos or artwork, but they're images of things and not people, [people] can make an assumption you're more introverted and might not want them to linger," Gosling says.

You demand respect. Evidence: Multiple degrees on the wall, awards on the shelf, pictures of you and important people, magazines featuring articles about you. The plaque on your desk says your full name and title, and lists your advanced degrees.

"Name plaques form a strong impression. If it says just your first name, people assume you're friendly and approachable. If it has a formal title, they think you want to be respected for your rank," Luccioni says.

You've just been hired, you've just been fired, or you'd like to leave soon. Or you'd rather be temping. Evidence: Files in boxes, no decorations, no books, no plants, no pictures, and no name plaque.

They should avoid doing business with you. Evidence: Messy piles of papers on every surface. Half-eaten donuts atop teetering stacks of binders. Carpet stains.

Experts agree that a messy office can seriously damage your reputation as a conscientious person. "It's hard to function in a messy office, and people assume your office chaos will spill over to their project and their files will be lost in your mess," Pachter says.

Gosling pointed to research that shows people read much more than they should into a messy office. "People think that someone with a messy office is less agreeable, which may not be accurate. My guess is, people assume a mess is inconsiderate."

You don't take the whole "work thing" too seriously. Evidence: Humorous posters, ironic bumper stickers, whimsical images, and toys.

Conscious Decorating
Experts have several suggestions on making sure your workspace matches the image you want to project.

Err on the conservative side. Especially if clients visit you or if you're in a high-traffic area, you want to make sure people don't stop in their tracks to gawk at your collection of teddy bears or tiki torches.

Be careful with controversial items. "Consider the cost:reward ratio of putting up something like a political campaign poster," Luccioni says. "You might find kindred spirits, or you might offend people and get a first meeting off to a bad start." All experts say anything potentially racist, sexist, or homophobic, or otherwise disparaging of a group, is a no-no.

Check your employee handbook, or ask HR. Your company probably has some guidelines on decorating your work space. They might not even permit any decoration, which makes the issue moot.

Follow industry norms. Some industries demand a strict image of seriousness, while others are more laid-back. A poster with a funny or counterculture slogan would be more appropriate in the office of an advertising copywriter than the office a defense attorney.

Consider the physical arrangement. "A desk can act as a barrier and give formality, which is good for reviews but can be intimidating," Luccioni says. She adds that a small circular table allows everyone to meet on an equal basis. A power difference, if you want that, can be achieved by giving guests smaller, flimsier chairs.

And if you tend to make snap judgments about others' offices, try to look at the bigger picture, Gosling recommends.

"Any one item can have many different purposes. If someone has a plant, maybe they have a green thumb, maybe they're into feng shui, or maybe the plant was left over from the last person in that office. If you see someone with a super neat desk, how do you know whether they're truly neat, or whether they swept everything into a drawer before you stopped by?"

Copyright © 2010 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

What your workspace says about you
Describe the office where you work at present.

o How do you feel there?
o What would you change about it?

 Describe your ideal office and give reasons for your preferences.