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Bosses Said to Lose Temper More with Lower Status Workers


Contact:Jennifer Jones

NEW YORK 5/22/2014

Less educated, lower income workers are more likely to say that their boss loses control of his or her emotions than other employed North Americans, according to a telephone survey of 532 employees by AMA Enterprise, a division of American Management Association.

An average of 14% of North American employees report bosses losing their temper either “all the time” or “often,” said Jennifer Jones, Director at AMA Enterprise, which provides organizations with assessment, measurement, and tailored training solutions. “Sure, most workers seldom or never see their boss have a meltdown. Nevertheless, it happens and it turns out some people have to endure their boss’s wrath more often than others, and it tends to be blue collar workers.” 

A certain amount of stress at your job is normal, but some things are not helpful. How often does your boss lose control of his or her emotions?

Responses to “all the time/often”

under $25K         23%
$25K-49.9          14%
$50K-74.9          13%
$75+                     9%

H.S. or less         17%
Some college       12%
College or more   12%

“Tempers and tantrums can undermine both engagement and company performance,” noted Jones. “Indeed, organizations generally intervene when a manager’s emotional shortcomings draw attention. Even corporate boards have been known to step in when a CEO’s confrontational style threatens to undermine the senior team’s working relationship.”

At the same time, today’s organization does not wish to stigmatize the high-strung individual, Jones cautioned. “Emotional issues are generally addressed in a nonjudgmental manner, and dealing with inappropriate anger and negative stress is now regarded as a core skill in emotional intelligence…a competency that may be learned and cultivated.”

Emotional intelligence—the ability to recognize and manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others—is vital to being an effective and high-performing leader or team member, advised Jones. “Relationship management is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence, which is key to successful conflict management, influence, coaching, and teamwork. A workforce of emotionally intelligent employees should be more productive and harmonious. Customer service is likely to be better as well. So it’s to the organization’s advantage to have managers develop their emotional intelligence.”

The survey was conducted March 19-23, 2014 on behalf of AMA Enterprise by SSRS, a professional market research organization based in Media, PA.

With more than 90 years’ experience and headquartered in New York, American Management Association is a global leader of comprehensive talent development. AMA Enterprise, a specialized division of AMA dedicated to building corporate and government training solutions, transforms enterprise-wide talent to fuel a culture of innovation, high performance, and optimal business results.

Media Contact: Phil Ryan, 845-339-7858, pgryan@aol.com.