It happens to anyone who leads. I don't need to go into the causes as there can be many. The question is how does one handle the irritation with ones staff? It may seem like an elementary question but it actually is not as our response can help or hinder our leadership. It is why careless leaders lose unnecessary coinage with staff because they do not moderate their responses appropriately.
Leaders have a higher responsibility to moderate their emotions and responses than others. The best leaders choose carefully how and when to respond to irritating events and modulate their emotions with care. The control of our emotions is designed to get us the best result rather than to vent in ways that are unhelpful. Leaders who are careless with their responses and emotions often hurt people unnecessarily (especially true with emails).
There are many times when leaders choose to keep their irritation to themselves and seek to solve the issue without revealing their emotions. There is often no need for staff to know our irritation if it is not necessary. Every time we reveal irritation we use and often lose coinage with staff.
There are a few instances where leaders intentionally choose to reveal their irritation, strong feelings or appropriate anger in order to make a significant point. There are times and events that require strong reaction because the issue at hand is critical to the organization. Especially when a key value of the organization has been violated.
The issue is whether leaders have the ability to modulate their emotions and often keep their emotions to themselves. And, to use their emotions in a productive manner rather than allowing them to be used unproductively.
(Written from Berlin, Germany)