Humans have emotions and sometimes as humans, we sometimes have emotional responses at work.
Outside of my working day, I am quite an emotional person. I am known to shed a tear at the drop of a hat, whether it be whilst comforting a friend or sharing in their success and happiness! Others have different emotional responses, maybe an angry outburst or the switching on of the silent treatment (which my Dad falls victim to quite often and not from me, I might add!). Here are my fool proof tips for dealing with emotions at work, without damaging your professional reputation:
Tip 1: Try not to have an outburst.
I realise that this is easier said than done and often by the time you’re emotional it’s too late to stop. But if you know the situations that can lead to an emotional response, you can take proactive steps to avoid creating a scene. For me, I know that I cry if I feel confronted, so if I know that I am going to have a difficult conversation with a colleague, I will give myself a pep talk beforehand and I then make sure to have the conversation somewhere private (always recommended).
Tip 2: Don’t make it a big deal
As I said previously, people have emotions. It’s not the end of the world and it’s likely if you don’t make a big fuss over it, people will and do move on. The best thing to do is to excuse yourself from the office and go take a little walk; until you’ve calmed down.
Tip 3: Don’t apologise
It’s fine to acknowledge your emotions, but there is no need to apologise for them. If you feel the need to explain why you are having an emotional response, simply state the fact that you are feeling emotional over the situation and if possible, continue discussing the matter. If you are not able to continue speaking, take a break and then continue the conversation at a later time.
Emotions are a human reaction to situations and will occasionally also happen at work. If you find yourself having an emotional response, don’t panic. It’s not going to be the end of your career.