Magazine article USA TODAY

Don't Stifle Emotions in the Workplace

Magazine article USA TODAY

Don't Stifle Emotions in the Workplace

Article excerpt

"Non-physical violence is a dangerous trend in American workplaces," warns Howard F. Stein professor of family medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. It "is often a conscious as well as unconsciously motivated effort to destroy the dignity or undermine the humanity of a person. It's a symbolic way of murdering someone--it's murder of the spirit. Non-physical violence, at its heart, degrades both the one who is angry and the target of the anger.

"A form of violence in the workplace is the continual discounting of emotions of any kind. It's part of our American, task-oriented, `can do' attitude of `get the job done,' and anger, sadness, and other emotions have no place. We are not persons, only functions--producers of product lines."

He suggests that ,Workers and administrators must learn to express anger, anxiety, worry, and other feelings in the workplace--without fear of reprisal--to improve morale and productivity. The more we feel free to say that we are angry, the less we are likely to attack someone verbally or physically. …

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