Workplace Violence Prevention Compiled by Ce-Classes.com
Learning Objectives • After completing this course, participants will: • Identify aggressive behavior and anger triggers. • Describe techniques for managing anger. • Identify the warning signs of workplace aggression and de-escalation techniques.
CourseDescription This course reviews the incidence, causes and interventions to reduce workplace violence. The course begins with a theoretical overview of anger and aggression while considering its impact within the work place. The course content examines a spectrum of destructive aggressive behaviors, warning signs of violence, and anger triggers. Communication skills and de-escalation techniques are also reviewed in detail as interventions for anger and potential violence in the workplace. The content of this course is designed to help employees learn how to manage their own anger and how to deal with others who are angry in an effort to reduce the potential for workplace violence.
Anger arises and aggression occurs (Berkowitz) • According to Novaco, anger is simply a subjective but normal emotional state that is agitated by some environmental occurrence (as cited by Hollin). • According to Glomb, Steel and Arvey, aggression is a behavioral manifestation of feeling angry.
Anger and Violence Emotions are a factor of the human condition, whether felt or faced. Varied human emotions can be exhibited in a positive or negative manner including anger.
Anger and Violence According to Novaco, anger is simply a subjective but normal emotional state that is agitated by some environmental occurrence (as cited by Hollin).
Anger and Violence (Glomb, Steel, & Arvey) The legitimate emotional state of anger is significantly related to aggression because aggression is a behavioral manifestation of feeling angry.
Anger and Violence Berkowitz made an interesting point, “Anger arises and aggression occurs”.
Anger and Violence According to Neuman and Baron, workplace aggression is defined as “efforts by an individual to harm others with whom they work, or have worked, or the organizations in which they are presently or where presently employed” ( Glomb, Steel, & Arvey).
Anger and Violence For the purposes of this training we will focus on the implications of the aggressive behavior on an interpersonal level, such as colleague to colleague or towards organizational outsiders. ( Glomb, Steel, & Arvey).
Workplace Violence What is critical to understand about specifying the difference in definition between aggression and workplace aggression is the perspective of intentionality of the harm. For example, yelling at a coworker because he/ she cannot hear you over an outside car alarm maybe aggressive behavior but not an aggressive intentional act. Yelling at a coworker because you are angry they embarrassed you in a meeting; shows intent to harm another ( Glomb, Steel, & Arvey).
Spectrum of Organizational Anger and Aggression The emotional state of anger is neither good nor bad. Thus, anger can be constructive or destructive. The problem comes about when we don’t know how to properly handle or when we lose control of our own emotions. ( Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Peacock)
Spectrum of Organizational Anger and Aggression • Constructive • Opening lines of communication with management for future development • Channeling your anger into positive motivation energy towards your work
Spectrum of Organizational Anger and Aggression • Destructive • Not relaying an important message from the supervisor. • Discontinue “going the extra mile”. • Yelling at a coworker. • Spreading false rumors about a coworker. • Destroying property. • Physical harm to a coworker or customer.
Spectrum of Workplace Aggression (Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey; Nuckols).
Workplace Aggression (LeBlanc & Kelloway) Workplace aggression is not always about physical violence or homicides, although it does receive the most attention in the media and in research.
Workplace Aggression (LeBlanc & Kelloway) Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates homicides to be the second leading cause of workplace death, only 4-7% of these homicides are committed by fellow colleagues.
Workplace Aggression (LeBlanc & Kelloway). This extreme level of workplace aggression can be reduced by creating a prevention plan and simply being aware of our colleagues and organizational aggression levels.
Workplace Aggression • First, take all threats seriously and inform management immediately. Better safe than sorry!
Workplace Aggression • Prepare for "what if" situations by understanding company procedures and mental reflection.
Workplace Aggression • Your organization should have an action plan in case these extreme levels of aggression should occur, be proactive and know the plan or voice your concern constructively to management that the organization should develop and implement a prevention plan.
Workplace Aggression • Also, you should internally prepare for this hypothetical event so you can remain calm and not be caught off guard.
Workplace Aggression • Be vigilant of aggressive behavior and warning signs. At this point you might be asking yourself… • So how do we as proactive employees become more aware?
Spotting The Warning Signs Being aware of our surroundings at work and watching out for changes in coworkers level of aggressive behavior can help reduce increases in the continuum.
Spotting The Warning Signs Wood Holes Oceanographic Institution prevention plan for workplace violence • Stage one warning signs include: • Unusual behavior changes • Uncooperative with direct supervisor on a regular basis . • Argues with coworkers constantly • Spreads gossip and rumors deliberately to harm others. • Excessively hostile toward customers or coworkers. • Irritability and anxiety escalates.
Spotting The Warning Signs Wood Holes Oceanographic Institution prevention plan for workplace violence • Stage two warning signs include: • Writes violent or sexual notes to other employees or management. • Verbalizes desires to harm coworkers or employer. • Sabotages equipment or steals property. • Continuously disregards company policies and procedures. • Levels of arguments or altercations increase with all personnel . • Noted decrease in interest and confidence in work .
Spotting The Warning Signs Wood Holes Oceanographic Institution prevention plan for workplace violence • Stage three identifies when anger intensifies resulting in: • Depression or withdrawal. • Property destruction . • Physical fighting. • Suicidal threats. • Use of weapons to harm others.
Anger Styles: Classifying Aggressive Behavior Now that we understand the continuum of aggressive behavior in the workplace and how to spot the warning signs, let us shift our attention to examine the three main anger styles: avoiders, exploders, and assertors.
Classifying Aggressive Behavior Avoiders demonstrate a passive aggressive style by suppressing their anger internally. They generally blame themselves and feel that showing anger overtly will cause others to reject them. (Peacock)
Classifying Aggressive Behavior Avoiders typically also feel resentment and lower self-esteem or engage in passive aggressive behavior. For instance, deleting a coworker’s project whom made you angry earlier in the day without them knowing it was you; thus an indirect aggressive act. However, this solved nothing which usually leads to an avoiding becoming an exploder. (Peacock)
Classifying Aggressive Behavior Exploders express their aggression in an outright verbal or physical manner. They are generally enraged easily and are overly sensitive to criticism. Although expressing their anger usually makes them feel better, exploders end up hurting others and aggressive behavior continues to escalate because they do not solve the problem. (Peacock)
Classifying Aggressive Behavior Without intervention avoiders and exploders may utilize addictive substances, harm themselves, or commit criminal violent acts. (Peacock)
Classifying Aggressive Behavior On the other hand, assertors employ techniques to manage anger and keep cool when angry feelings starts to bubble. They effectively communicate to explain why they are angry and resolve the anger trigger. (Peacock)
Anger Triggers (Peacock;Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Rokach; Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey). Everyone is angered by different buttons: There are many cultural and gender differences in anger triggers.
Anger Triggers (Peacock; Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Rokach; Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey). Anger triggers include but are not limited to: frustrations, annoyances, causal-reasoning style, adverse work conditions, rigid rules and procedures, aggressive organizational cultures, mistreatments or injustices, and physical provocation.
Anger Triggers (Peacock; Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Rokach; Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey). This paradigm demonstrates that an individual’s funneling process of anger triggers indicates their relationship towards reacting aggressively and provides an additional dynamic to guide proactive measures to reduce workplace aggression.
Anger Triggers (Peacock; Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Rokach; Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey) Although our buttons get pushed, we need to implement a strategy to efficiently handle the anger in a constructive manner consequently implementing an assertive anger style.
Anger Styles Since we are all going to experience anger, learning our anger triggers as well as aggression controlling techniques will help us become better at managing our behavior and maintaining an assertor anger style. (Peacock)
Reasoning Styles (Peacock; Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Rokach; Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey). Causal-reasoning styles deals with locus of control theory which states that people attribute successes and failures in different ways.
Reasoning Styles (Peacock; Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Rokach; Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey). Internalists believe that their efforts where direct result of the outcome while externalists believe that others are to blame or it was destiny that caused them to succeed or fail.
Reasoning Styles (Peacock; Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Rokach; Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey). Attribution theory is closely related to the concept of locus of control but centers on the behaviors and emotions resulting in their attribution patterns.
Reasoning Styles (Peacock; Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Rokach; Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey). These theories support the idea of a hostile attribution style in which associates within the workforce of predisposed toward aggressive behavior.
Anger Triggers (Peacock; Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Rokach; Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey). • Frustrations • come about when something we expected does not happen creating an inability to reach a goal. This many lower the person’s self-esteem leading to an avoider’s maladaptive methods of handling anger.
Anger Triggers (Peacock; Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Rokach; Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey). • Annoyances • are the everyday things that agitate us: you step in gum, someone cuts you off while driving home, or you are continuously being interrupted during a meeting.
Anger Triggers (Peacock; Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Rokach; Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey). • Mistreatments or injustices • include things like: ridicule, name-calling, being blamed for something you did not do, or a private personal matter has been spread around the office.
Anger Triggers (Peacock; Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Rokach; Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey). • Adverse work conditions • encompass environmental stressors include triggers like overcrowding, extreme temperatures, noise or threats to safety. Here the same rule of thumb for handling rigid rules can be utilized to minimize the trigger.
Anger Triggers (Peacock; Glomb, Steel, & Arvey; Rokach; Martinko, Douglas, & Harvey). And obviously, physical provocation triggers anger by providing an eminent fear of physical harm triggering a fight or flight response.
How to Manage Your Anger (Peacock; Feindler & Starr) • From Furious To Calm, Cool and Collected • Know your triggers and avoid if possible • Restructure your thinking • Use relaxation methods • STEP BACK technique • Communication • Problem solving techniques