By Art Rainer
A patient person shows great understanding, but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness. -Proverbs 14:29
There are several verses in the Bible that discuss the dangers of a quick temper.
I have been able to work and learn from some great leaders so far. I truly feel blessed.
But I know those whose experience differs dramatically from mine. I know those who have worked for leaders with really short fuses. And they hated it.
If you are a leader that finds himself or herself with a short temper, be careful. Here are four ways a short temper can hurt your leadership:
1. It can cause you to make poor decisions
A short temper sometimes leads to quick, irrational decisions. They are based on emotion, not thoughtfulness. And these decisions are often followed by regret.
2. It can make your team members “play it safe” rather than “play to win”
Your team fears your temper. And so they do not take risks and they are not overly aggressive. They are in survival mode. They don’t play to win. They just play it safe.
3. It can cause you to lose team members that you want to keep
Your best team members don’t want to work for someone they fear. Eventually, they will have enough of the angry outbursts. And they will leave.
4. It can cause you to lose your job
Poor decisions. A team that plays it safe. And turnover of key team members. These factors will not sit well for those in the organization. If these issues persist, you run a high likelihood of losing your job.
A short temper can seriously injure your ability to lead others. So if you find yourself with a short fuse, here are a few final thoughts:
- Regularly pray about it. Ask God to help you manage your temper.
- Memorize a few Bible verses about the dangers of a quick temper. Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 29:11, and James 1:19 are a great start.
- Before you speak, pray and think. Ask God to give you the right words to say. Try to remove the emotions before you respond.
- Respond later. Sometimes, the best response is a no response, especially when the initial response is filled with anger. Give yourself time to cool down before you speak.
Art Rainer is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and cofounder of Rainer Publishing. He is the author of several books, Raising Dad and Simple Life.