Don't Be a Crybaby: How to Manage Emotions in the Workplace
Put aside the tears and learn how to channel frustration at work
I’ll admit it, I’m a crybaby. Whether it is a Hallmark commercial or a tough conversation, my first reaction when my blood pressure starts to spike is tears welling up in my eyes. I’ve always been this way and it has definitely been one of the toughest obstacles I have had to deal with when it comes to difficult situations in the workplace.
According to Anne Kreamer, the author of “It’s Always Personal: Navigating Emotion In the Workplace,” 41 percent of women have cried at work, compared to just nine percent of men.
Is it possible to check our emotions at the door or can we work to channel them in the right direction? Is it even possible to completely leave your emotions at home when you go to work? Kreamer says the key is to not stomp on these feelings, but to manage them.
I have worked tirelessly on how to manage my emotions and channel them into productivity. Here are a few ways you can do the same.
Manage your expectations
Having high expectations walking into a meeting or conversation and then having it go completely in the opposite direction can be very upsetting. This is why walking into most meetings with a truly open mind is your best bet to avoiding a mental breakdown in the conference room.
Some people are rude. They will tell you a project you have worked on for months is horrible and you have to start again ― this in most circumstances would warrant crying. Be focused on the task at hand and not on the actions of your colleagues or directors. Be realistic about the fact that things may not go your way so it doesn’t catch you off guard.
Also set realistic expectations for people. Try not to get hung up on holding your superiors to an incredibly high standard.
Find a confidant
Having at least one person in your office that you can confide in and express your emotions to is incredibly important. Unfortunately, these people can sometimes be hard to come by but finding one is a gem you should never let go.
After a stressful meeting when all you want to do is cry or scream, chat with this person and get out all the anger and frustration because they will most likely understand how you feel. It is tough for your significant other or friends to relate to your frustration at work because they aren’t there. Having someone in your office that deals with the same frustrations as you can truly save your sanity at work and make your emotions less likely to come out at ill-opportune times.
Don’t take it personally
Passion. This is great for creating a motivated and inspired team but it can also create very heated and sometimes personal arguments. Go into every project meeting thinking, "this is my work, not me, and if people hate it, they don’t hate me, they just don’t agree with the work." This is the best way to not to get all swept up and emotional in a meeting. It definitely helps to go for a walk after and let your frustrations out, but during the meeting, focus on the project and the project only.
There are many different opinions about emotions in the workplace. Some people think they are fine and show humanity, others think they have absolutely no place. Either way, poorly managed emotions at work are linked to low productivity ― and no one feels good after crying in front of their boss ― so it is important to put your best foot forward at all times. Using these tips and finding your own can help with keeping those tears on lockdown.
Monster Wants to Know: What are tips that help you manage your emotions in the workplace? Share with us in the comment section.