The Arc of Anger in the Workplace

Did you ever experience a person of authority in the workplace who “ruled” with anger?  I say “ruled” because you really can’t call it managing, and you really can’t call them a manager or even a leader.  Although people who accept this barbaric style (do I seem a bit passionate about this subject?)  of “ruling” will call it managing.   Well, I am here to talk about this beast of anger that exists in millions of businesses from the executive offices to the person who sweeps the floors.

It is the dream of every business owner and manager to have team that is aligned, balanced and satisfied.  When the entire team has this mindset, there is little turnover, better bottom lines, the business simply thrives with ease.  But if the leader falls short of these expectations,  the ripple runs deep throughout the organization.  Consider this story about one potential leader:

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A nurse (we’ll call her Carol) stepped into her boss’ office one day to discuss the time off structure.  “I believe that part-timers should get paid vacation, too.  I have worked here for one year and have not been able to take time off. with pay”   Her boss (Bridget)  was surprised by her request, since she only worked two to three days per week and had the rest of the week to call “vacation.”   “Carol, we’ve had this discussion before and it seems that other part-time nurses are completely satisfied in working with the current structure.  What else do you have to talk with me about?”

Carol’s anger was mounting as she resolved that she had no other choice but to be persistent – today.  It was important to her and her family.  “Bridget, this is really important to me and I wish you would not dismiss it as though it were not.  Each year my family would like to take vacation without my loss of income.  I’m only asking for a week, for God’s sake!”

Bridget stood up from her desk.  “We are done here.  You have come to me for six months, ungrateful for the job I have given you, and you ask for paid vacation while others are perfectly happy with this arrangement.  I am not going to re-write policy for one person, let alone a part-timer who is consistent whining!”

Tears brimming in her eyes, Carol left and went back to her desk.  She couldn’t show this tyrant her defeat, although she felt defeated and a failure.  She wanted Bridget to at least consider her request just once.  She believed it was a small request that would show little impact.  Two days a week?  Really? This nursing agency can’t afford that?!  C’mon!!

Bridget slammed her door upon the heels of Carol’s exit.  She was billowing with the internal fires of anger.  How dare her, coming in here like a princess, demanding that she have more perks than what we already give!  She is such a pre-madonna witch!!  I oughta just fire her and put myself out of this misery  each month.

A faint knock on the door in intervals of three caught her attention.  “What?!” she shouted.

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“A faint knock on the door…”

“Bridget, a man has been waiting to see you for about 20 minutes, ”  said the receptionist.  “He said he only has 10 more minutes to wait.”

“Tell him that he was late, so he’s just going to have to reschedule,” Bridget barked back.

“Yes, ma’am,  I will tell him, but he is here to audit our files.”  Bridget’s body began to shake, she felt out of control.  “It’s that damn Carol, she started all of this, this morning! “

Bridget instructed the receptionist to detain the auditor just a few more minutes because she had to take care of something extremely important.  The staff could hear her vindictive sounding high heels stomping through the walls of cubicles.  Who will be next?  They were used to this weekly turmoil from Bridget’s office.  Always someone getting reprimanded or fired. They were nearly immune to the continuous drama.

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Her stomps stopped at Carol’s cubicle.  Bridget hovered over Carol as she sat nervously fumbling through papers and not daring to look up at the “monster.”   “Carol?”   Carol did not dare look her in the eye, she trembled with fear.  “I called your name, I deserve your attention, Carol.”   She finally complied with a wincing eye-response.

“Bridget?”  A long pause seemed to suck the air from Carol’s lungs.

“Carol, you have caused my whole day to be disrupted, late for my appointment, and it is 9am and you are not out seeing patients.  How can I expect to run a decent agency when one nurse cannot comply like the rest?”   Carol mustered up the courage to regain her composure.

“But, Bridget?”

“What do you want now, Carol?!” Bridget screamed back in single word accents. ” I have someone important waiting!!”

“Today is my day off.  I came in on my day off to meet with you, so I will not be seeing patients, today.”

“Fine, that’s just fine.  See, you have a day off!  I do not, however, and need to get to an appointment.  You can pack up your stuff and get the hell out of here.  You have caused too much disruption in the flow of work around here!”  With that, Carol experienced a calmness  that seemingly came out of nowhere.  “Not a problem, Bridget.  I will be gone, today.  All of my equipment is setting on the counter.  Have a successful year, Bridget.”

Expecting a fight from Carol, Bridget needed more fuel for her anger.  She stomped back to the front desk where the auditor was waiting.  She shoved her hand in his face, smiled with all teeth, and made her introduction.  She turned dryly and led the man back to her office, again digging her heels into the floor as she walked.

The auditor asked for a glass of water and Bridget stopped for a deep breath,  rolled her eyes, and called the receptionist to bring back a pitcher of water and two glasses.  None of her actions and words went unnoticed by the auditor.  He was within clear ear-shot of the earlier conversation and the eye-roll was the next straw that were tipping the scales of his awaited report.

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“Bridget,  we met three months ago and discussed a few items that did not pass my audit.  Would you present your response and demonstrate the process outcomes?”

“I sent those to you, Mr. Clark, on tie so I thought you were here to clear our response to the discrepancies. Did you receive them?”

“Well, yes, but I need to see how you corrected the process.”

“Oh, the process!  The process, yes.  Well, the nurses took care of that.”

As you read this story, you can see where Bridget’s fate is headed.  What can you point out as some of the key components of how her anger is mounting to an arc, like a flashpoint of fire?

  1.  No filters- speaks in negative terms
  2.  Only one of the side of the story is important- hers
  3.  Blames others for her shortcomings
  4.  Allows impatience to fuel anger
  5.  No compassion
  6.   Seems “put upon” – perhaps a by-product of overwhelm or large undertakings beyond her scope of time or skill
  7.   No delegation of role- did not refer to human resources
  8.   Not a champion for the team- lack of respect
  9.   No leadership skills
  10.   Does not see how her actions affect everyone around her (remember the fearing people in the cubicles?)

It appears that Bridget allowed her anger to surpass what was really important – apparently on a daily basis.


What? You don’t think these managers still exist in the workplace in our current society of being equal and kind to one another (tongue in cheek)?  Hmmm.  Ask around, they exist more than you know.  What is important is that you recognize it, report it, and possibly offer help to bring balance – if you are that type of person who is strong enough to handle this style of management.  Work with your human resource department, and get some coaching to arm yourself with mental tools to care for yourself.

Now, what to do about Bridget.  Eventually, Bridget was reported by Carol to the human resources director.  With Carol’s persistence and accurate reporting, the human resources department referred Bridget to a coaching program.  Their company had an employee assistance program that included six weeks of coaching.  Of course Bridget was resistant because her anger was still at the arc of destruction – self-destruction and workplace destruction.

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After several phone calls from human resources, and finally a warning, Bridget succumbed and scheduled her first coaching session.  She agreed to “meet” her coach over the phone on her lunch break (which Bridget had to create time for to make this work).

Her assigned coach, Cara, greeted her with openness and grace.  Immediately, Bridget began spewing out all of her woes with work and how she feels like she could die due to all the stress.  She said she was on a heart monitor and taking a sleep study because she cannot sleep and her heart was beating a “million miles a minute.”

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Cara allowed her to download for about 10 minutes and then stopped her to ask a question: “What’s your favorite time of year?”  Bridget stopped her spinning abruptly and answered the question.   Cara always viewed this as the magic that intercepts the arc of anger.  Surprised with the abrupt cadence, Bridget responded, “I like Summer, why?”  And, the healing began.

Bridget attended Cara’s sessions for the maximum allowed, then hired her for the next year.  Bridget had broken a cycle that was causing her suffering for so many years.   Each session brought more clarity of her anger:  she was angry about her father leaving when she was 10, she was the primary caregiver of her siblings when her mother went to night classes, she had no friends at school, she struggled through college; and, the list went on.

All of these incidents and events in her life impacted how she would interpret the journey in her adult life.  ‘Fight them off before they get to know you‘ became her internal mantra.  However, without external intervention she may have lived with this in her mind for the rest of her life, impacting everyone around her and beyond (ever “kicked the cat” when you came home from work? It’s called the domino-effect.).

Bridget took a short leave of absence, at the recommendation of the director.  She was lucky, very lucky to have a director who saw her potential and did not allow Bridget’s emotional “baggage” to cloud what she knew was important: take care of the person and the rest will come.

When Bridget returned to work, she – bravely- held a meeting and shared her journey.  Most of her staff were understanding and willing to start over.  Others had their own arcs of anger that Bridget would embrace as a new journey, just like her boss had done for her.

The agency was able to reclaim their license with Bridget’s new diplomatic process.  She created a new policy for all meetings that included listening to each individual who had something to input.  Bridget made it a priority to really “hear” the complaints and concerns of her staff and to help them make a better impact on the world with their own happiness.   Bridget was finally aligned, balanced and satisfied.

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What passion rocks your world?

Kat is a professional mentor, author, and women’s advocate who specializes in the art and science of Core Alignment, NeuroLinguistic Programming and Emotional Wisdom Training, and holds a certificate in the Psychology of Happiness.

She offers programs for life and business, featuring Women’s Enrichment Programs and Diversity in Business.Ask about her POW (Power of Wisdom) Tribes!               929-333-4624

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Honor Thy Cat’s Gifts!

Cat owners will appreciate the humor in this story:

Muffy whips out the door, at midnight when Margie takes the dog out for his last squat.  “Great! Now I have to find the cat,” she rants. Margie spent hours calling her name, tapping the food can, in hopes that the fluffy white puff ball would tip toe over the threshold, as she usually did.  But, no. It’s now past midnight, and Margie, with only 4 hours of sleep in the last 24 hours, is now beside herself  that little Miss Muffet just had to take a hike on this night!moon-182145_1920

Clambering back to her bedroom, desperate for just a piece of sleep, Margie  finds herself tossing and turning,all night, worrying about Muffy.  Could she be stuck in a pipe somewhere? Did she get hit by a car?  Did a rabid fox get her?  Eventually, Margie collapses into sleep out of worried exhaustion.

Early the next morning, Margie realizes that she fell asleep and Muffy was still out there… in the wilderness of the summer nights.   She bolts out bed, grabbing her robe; she hooks up the dog to his leash and heads for the door.  “Got to find Muffy before the kids wake up and find out,” she mumbles in a frantic fumble to unlock the door, her eyes sagging and red.

Margie opens the door, slips on one clog and steps forward with bare foot bouncing her big toe around to slide into the other shoe.  Hopping on one foot, balancing the dog’s leash, and a shred of dignity, her bare foot lands on something that does not quite feel like the soft shoe she anticipated, but this soft, squishy, a bit wet, piece of yuk.  Margie knows what it is, as it is all too familiar.

KakaoTalk_20150326_205625070Muffy, in all her glory, shows up at the front door,
attentively  tip-toeing back and forth, vying for her attention. “Meow, meow, meow,”she attempts to cue Margie’s smile in her flirtatious mews.  But no smiles, today. Margie looks down and sees that her dear little Muffy has brought…well… a gift, albeit a strange one, as she lifts her foot, stuck with mouse, and gags.

“No no, kitty!” she screams, kicking the mouse across the front lawn. Yes, it is the sacrificial field mouse.  Muffy has spent all night looking for the very special one, just for her stressed out owner.  Margie, in her haste,scowls at the dog, as he has one furry foot in the air; and, yanks him back.

Margie carefully hops backwards scraping off what is left of Mickey, and, heads back into the house, grabbing Muffy by the scruff on the way in.  Door slams and so the story of the day begins.

What did you notice about this story?  Is there anything familiar that you can take away?

For cat owners,  gifts from the cat are a very special occasion.  They may hunt for hours to bring back their prized sacrifice from the wild.

In our human-ness, it is often easy to overlook what others bring to us, as a gift.  Whether it is a lesson, a shared talent, or even shared time.  They are gifts of the heart.

More importantly, it is our life journey that we discover, recognize and utilize our  own gifts.  These, sometimes hidden, talents are born from our mind and soul, and are delivered when our body shows up to bring them outward to our world.

When one is able to relax the mind by accepting the current emotions, accepting what is, loving what is, and having an attitude of gratitude, one is able, easily, to see the gifts within the heart; and, to recognize when others bring us gifts….such as Muffy’s very special drop at the front door.

How does one get to this point?  There is so much information on the web, in books, papers, etc.!  How do people corral all of this information to pull their inner wisdom and know where their gifts lie? Yoga, meditation, go to the spa, eat this brain food, take this supplement, stand on your head.  It is insane, you say!! 021_pp

Every ounce of my being says, “You…are…Correct!”  Inner wisdom has nothing to do with what we learn in books, how we meditate (although there are benefits to that), or even how much we rely on the internet for our answers to the “how-to’s.”

And the answer is (drum roll please)…..wisdom comes from your heart!

When our mind is in total alignment, we are well-grounded , we think positive thoughts. Our heart begins to speak in us and through us in ways we never thought we could imagine.

From the practice of bringing alignment emerges our gifts.  Our gifts of who we are, what is our true purpose for our life on this beautiful earth.  This IS your heart and living from YOUR heart.

Next time your little Muffy brings a “gift,” won’t you view it just a little differently?  View it with L-O-V-E!

HippyKat  Kathleen “Kat” Kohler Schwartz is a Core Alignment Mentor and owner of Taproots for Life (NEW).  Kat practices Emotional Wisdom Training and Neuro Linguistic Programming to help women realize their inner voice toward living a happier, more fulfilling life.

Kat conducts her sessions over the phone and is available worldwide for English speaking clientele.

Available by appointment only-                                                         E-mail:

Visit her website:





Why I Blog…

I used to ponder the question, “Why do people blog?”  What’s in it for them?   There’s no money in it, I thought.  Even those who represent a company, what do they get besides a handful of referrals, right?  So, why do they do it?

I started on some new ventures in my life at the age of 56, after being laid off from a corporate position.  I jumped on the job search wagon, immediately. Surely, this is no big deal.  I’ve been here before. Nothing turned up after 9 months.d384bc6b06a44f1a0fc96a7bc6f379a2

In my state of haste,  I expanded on a dream,  invested some savings, and started an aromatherapy business.  I went back to school, found myself…you know the drill.  This was the time to discover!

What I discovered  was that I had an inner wisdom that I was listening to for a long time.  Yep, I became a “zen” student in the school of life.   Okay, so I didn’t become a monk or Zen master, but I did learn that my inner wisdom was talking to me and, somewhere during that year, I stopped listening.  What was I thinking?!

I reached out to some friends during the course of my exploration (I needed a job!) and felt a real need to listen, not to my own4db5a07b3b6432882530cfb1d3e8c159 wisdom, but to others.  This is where I learned about me, even more.  Some of the education was not so well received, but I listened, as these qualities are what people saw in me and I trusted their perspective.  Why didn’t I see these things? I thought.

What I heard from my brave acquaintances and close friends was that I needed to do what I know and what “speaks” to me.  No one told me the actual words, but the message rang clearer and clearer the more I reached out.  These conversations over the course of 6 months taught me that when I talked with others, I learned more about myself, even if people were not telling me anything.

My friends answered my questions and I was grateful.  I reached out to several coach friends, as well.   I still didn’t hear the words I needed to hear. The thing that I longed for, the thing that I am supposed to do for the rest of my life.  It was frustrating for me.

I went back to school to become a better writer (still working it), as it was a lifelong passion.  After I completed my courses, there was one more thing to do.  Become the person I always wanted to be.  I wanted to help people.  From the time I was seven years old, I knew this, but never knew what it really looked like, until the day I spoke with my friend, Jennifer.  Glasses on Book-Sketch

As I spoke about my experience, Jennifer said, “Back up for a minute. Say what you just said about coaching people at work to take your job. Tell me more about that.”   My story was illuminated with words like: sharing, empowering, teaching, forward thinking,  development, and progression.

Jennifer said, “Kat, I see this glow about you when you talk about how you helped people get promoted while under your direction.  That is where I see your passion.”  I stopped talking, sat there for a minute and said nothing (which is rare for me.)   The ringing in my ears was glaring and eye-popping.  “There it is,” I said to myself.  Everyone was trying to tell me, but I didn’t hear it.  I should be coaching people, sharing my experiences, HELPING them succeed, just as I had done for the last 35 years as a manager. Okay, I thought, I’ve got some serious work to do!

I know, I know, I can hear you now: “Get to the point, Kat!  Why do you Blog????”  I’m smiling, because you have now experienced why I blog and “tasted” just a bit of my coaching technique.

Since my journey to deeper discover (and I recommend  it for everyone), I have become a coach in Neuro Linquistic Programming and Emotional Wisdom Training. Living out my dream to help people, I also learn by other people- especially when I blog.

I have also become a writer (working on several books). When I blog, I tell you about my experiences where I have learned or had aha! moments, and share them with you.

I am humbled to hear that you are reading my blog.  It is my vision and mission to help just one person with my blogs, in hopes that they will pass on the message.

I wish to inspire to be inspired by you, taking the ripple effect out into the world, as we are all connected souls. Thank you for reading, as I learn by each person who reads, comments, and shares their own story.

So, I stand in my humbleness and say, “This is why I blog.” 5fb9394cad6f7509cd734483733b5966


HippyKat Kathleen “Kat” Kohler Schwartz is a successful Holistic Mentor in St. Louis, MO.

Kat practices Neuro Linguistic Programming, Emotional Wisdom Training and Aromatherapy in her unique technique to help people overcome old patterns of thinking toward a stress-free life of living their dreams.  She offers person-to-person and phone sessions.

Contact Kat for Mentoring:





Love is inside out…

What is love to you?

Recently, love and its meaning came in pure form from a man I met with mid-stage dementia.  I’ll call him Nate. I asked Nate, “what is love to you?”  His response was simple:  “Doing what I can to help someone.”  When I asked a little later, Nate said, “Love is having a cat in your lap.”  As simple as his answers came, I knew there was more.

Further, I asked when was the last time he felt love.  Nate did not hesitate and retorted, “You can’t put a time on love!”  I felt that he was getting a little fired up, so I know his brain was engaged.  In my persistence to find out what this man felt as love, he answered more: “Love is knowing that the world is a good place to be.”

“Love is knowing that the world is a good place to be.”

Love is knowing that the world is a good place to be….it’s worth repeating.  A man, in the throes of dementia, still felt emotion about love and, in his innate wisdom, could describe that love is not of the world or in the world, but what we perceive and feel that love is from the inside out.  The knowing; and, once we know love, all else is good.

Have you ever noticed how a person just beams when they have love in their life?  How do they get it?  You think, “I want some of that!”  We are not talking about romantic love; we are talking about intimate love.  The kind of  intimate love like Nate described: doing what you can to help someone, having a cat in your lap,and knowing that it comes from you, inside. Deep down inside.  Even the cat knows what this is!


How did we get lost in feeling this longing for intimacy?  The feeling of contentment, feeling that the world is all good no matter what occurs in our lives.

Experiences happen to us.  Lost loves, misunderstandings,  lack of communication, anger, loneliness, fear, hate.  The list of emotions and experiences is endless.

How do we get back on track to get that feeling of contentment that we all seek?  Take a step back for just a moment.  What drives you?  What is your passion?  Money, houses, boats, bigger income.  Dig deeper!

What is it that you reeeaaally want?  Better job, kinder boss, more loving relationships. How will your life look when you get these things?  02-2016mel-mlonnberg-300dpi

Are these things what you really want, or, is there more?  What will make you happy once you get these things?  Think love and all of its possibilities.  I can guarantee that a car or house will not bring love and contentment, but it will bring some new hefty payments, which brings a whole new set of emotions (We’ll save that hot mess for another blog!).

Love comes to us in all perceptions and emotions.  When we ask ourselves at least three times what we reaallly want, the emotions open and we sit with these feelings, knowing that this is the first step to knowing where to go for love.

We find that love is not in the things we want or achieve, but in that love already is.               All we have to do is accept and know.




Kathleen “Kat” Kohler Schwartz, is a Holistic Mentor and owner of Salt of the Earth Holistic Wellness.  She delivers a mind, body, spirit approach to life coaching that brings results.

Kat’s practice can be experienced in her office, and by phone or Skype sessions.  She is available Monday through Friday by appointment.   314-359-2467