The mayor of Austin, Texas, has to decide between anger management and community service to remove the charge of assault from his record. Mayor Will Wynn acknowledged that sometimes his anger can be a problem. Problem anger does not discriminate. High-profile people are not only subjected to public humiliation and scrutiny, but also, among other things, to moral judgment regarding their ability to uphold their position. For leaders in government, hospitals, or corporations, demonstrating key conflict resolution skills lends to trust and credibility in the public’s eye.
This is an election year. As a community, we need to be able to trust our leaders and peacekeepers. Can they control their own emotions? Do they have the ability to lead with sound reason? Reason is evaded when problem anger arises.
We cannot underscore the importance of key emotional intelligence skills such as empathy, compassion, awareness, and social conscience when resolving conflict in the face of crisis. A leader’s ability to remain grounded and calm is key to successful conflict and anger management.
Trust and credibility are important in leadership roles. These roles are not limited to the government. Leaders are all kinds of decision-makers – managers, executives, physicians, attorneys, and law enforcement, to name a few. These types of positions often are appointed to individuals who have integrity and the ability to guide. Maintaining these roles to the extent they are intended requires exceptional discipline of one’s emotions, understanding of one’s shortcomings, and having the ability to seek guidance when needed.
By Sonia Brill, LCSW, CAMF