Emotions can run high in the workplace. Most of our waking hours are spent working and during that time we are expected to shut off our emotions, roll up our sleeves, and ignore our human nature to react when we are offended, stressed, or feel attacked. Often we are required to balance something as natural as our emotions without having any idea whatsoever how to do it. The result – negative reactions caused by emotional decision-making.
Even when people mean well in reacting emotionally, often the outcome can become negative. The key is to find out what your emotional triggers are and learn how to curb those emotions to yield more positive outcomes.
So how can we curb those negative emotions? How is it possible to hit the “off switch” when we are about to burst? The key is a little something called self-control. Now I realize this solution is easier said than done; and while there may be many aspects of one’s life causing us to lose our self-control I will limit my scope to the workplace.
First let’s have a look at possible workplace stressors and ask; what are the things that make you “tick” while in the workplace? Is it an annoying co-worker pestering you with the same questions over and over again? Or possibly a teammate who always drops the ball causing you to pick up the pieces without receiving credit? It can be a boss with unreasonable requests causing you to work long hours or even someone trying to sabotage your promotion. The list can go on and on; but the goal here is to find what makes you “tick” and think about ways to positively deal with those situations. When facing stressful situations its best to avoid immediately reacting.
Negative emotional decision-making can potentially put a company at great risk damaging the company brand/image, job loss, career ruin, or worse. It is for this reason we must learn to choose our reactions stemming from disappointment, anger or dislike.
When we feel angered it is possible to react without considering the outcome. We let our pride get the best of us and we can view things as being a personal attack rather than a valid concern regarding performance and productivity.
I’ve found that it is always best to handle a situation where you feel your emotions are running high is to immediately separate yourself from the situation. Instead of reacting immediately, digest what you are being told and stay silent. This allows you to take the opportunity to think about what was said and strategically plan how you intend on addressing it at later time.
None of us are robots and able to suppress our emotions in every situation. I too have fallen victim to heavy emotions while in the workplace and can say from experience that walking outside and separating myself from the workplace, the building, and even the parking lot helped me tremendously to make a conscious decision and gather my thoughts.
It is helpful to clear your mind and separate yourself from any negative situations that may cause you to over react. Conscious decisions are key to career and organizational sustainability and success. You’ll find that your initial urge to react to a negative situation will change if you take a step back or sleep on it and face the situation head on at a later time when you have had time to process the situation and all possible avenues.
Mary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.