How to control emotions at your workplace
The occurrence of stressful conditions in workplaces due to staff layoffs, budget cuts, department changes, etc. are all too common and well-accepted; but what isn’t, is reacting to these stresses with strong emotions that might affect you and your co-workers negatively.
However, it is untrue that emotions don’t hold any place in a productive workplace. In fact, constructive emotions like optimism, excitement, joy or compassion are known to be extremely motivating; so much so that organizations hold workshops to inculcate these very emotions in their employees so that they can work towards the organizational goals while also achieving their personal goals! It is only the excessively intense emotions that block effective communication, therefore, hindering the personal as well as organizational growth.
There’s not much we can do to change how other’s feel, act and react; very true. But if you say the same for yourself, you would be gravely mistaken! All you need to do is acknowledge the strong negative
emotions you feel, chart down healthy strategies to deal with them productively and implement the same in your workplace proactively. And guess what? The first two are already done and explained below; have a look!
Cynthia Fisher, a professor of management from Bond University conducted a study in 1997 named, “Emotions at Work: What Do People Feel, and How Should We Measure It?” According to her research, the negative emotions experienced by most in workplaces are as follows:
· Anger / aggravation
· Disappointment / unhappiness
· Frustration / irritation
· Worry / nervousness
These are indeed very strong emotions; also highly capable of muddling with our decision making and work efficiency in general. This is precisely why you will a set of strategies to deal with these emotions healthily and productively. Here you go:
Anger / Aggravation
Anger when out-of-control can be exceedingly destructive not only for you but for your co-workers as well. Also to note, these are things that are least tolerable by the HR. Even though anger is one of the emotions that most of us have trouble handling, you need to get a hold of it in your workplace; and here’s how:
· Watch for the early signs of anger, address them and keep a note of the same.
· If you are beginning to get angry, stop whatever it is that you're doing. Just close your eyes, take deep breaths and do what helps you relax. If some of your co-workers get angry, picture how you would behave yourself.
Disappointment / Unhappiness
Sometimes dealing with disappointment can be more difficult that one may expect it to be. Disappointment out of every emotion is what impacts one's productivity the most. You may feel uninterested while working, exhibit low energy and most of all, you will refrain from taking risks in your work. All of these combined will hold you back majorly from achieving. To prevent that, you must:
· Observe your mind-set and reset your approach if need be.
· Adjust your goals, stick to it, begin with what is doable and monitor your progress.
· Record your thoughts, acknowledge the source of unhappiness, and work towards developing your ways around it.
· Wear a smile! As strange as it might sound, smiling when you don’t mean it, can often make you feel happy.
There must have been times when we have had to work with someone we might not like. Nonetheless, it is of utmost importance to stay professional; no matter what! To better deal with such people around you should:
· Be respectful to the people you work with; irrespective of whether you like them or not.
· If a person at your office is being unprofessional or rude, be firm while letting them know that you refuse to be treated in this way; be assertive.
Frustration / Irritation
Frustration generally occurs when you feel trapped or are unable to move forward in the direction that you wish or aspire to. Maybe it is your boss that is blocking your favourite project, your colleague who is extremely disorganized and always arrives late at the meetings, or even your phone that has been ringing for a long time; all of this can cause you frustration. Whatever be the reason, you must be able to deal with frustration before it gets to you. And here’s how you can do that:
· Stop and evaluate your mental position. Ask what frustrates you and what you can do rid yourself of that.
· Find whatever is positive about the situation. This will help you find a different perspective on the situation.
· Remember how you dealt your frustration last time and practice the same of it was effective.
Worry / Nervousness
The increasing number of layoffs and with it its associated fears and anxieties have undoubtedly caused a lot of people to worry about their jobs. But this is something that can take a high toll on you mentally and affect the life you have out of office. You wouldn’t want that! Here’s how you ensure that never happens:
· Surround yourself with positive things and refrain from staying in environments that cause anxiety and worry.
· Try the age-old advice of deep-breathing exercises.
· Focus on how you can try and improve the situation causing worry or anxiety.
· Write down all worries in a ‘worry log’, and find time to work on each one of them.
Negative emotions can take terribly impact your self-confidence. Follow the above-mentioned tips to function productively when negative emotions surround you at a workplace. It is most crucial that you deal with them proactively before they get the better of you.