Handling emotions at work can be a tricky and sticky issue for everyone in the workplace. In the workplace you generally have multiple personalities that come in contact with each other everyday. Sometimes we are working with people who either have a hard time hiding their emotions or just the opposite you never know what they are feeling because they don’t show it. People who cannot hide their emotions can be extremely hard to work with, because they can cause their coworkers to be caught up on their emotional roller coaster as it moves up and down throughout the day. I have worked with this type of person and it is quite difficult (and draining) because you never know what will set them off to go pout, cry or totally over react and yell or scream. Even though this behavior is very unprofessional and should not be allowed these people seem to be able to get away with it, at least for awhile. If you are one of these emotional people or if you work with one here are a few tips that can help curb this behavior, make a much better work atmosphere and may also help them to keep their job.
1. If you start to feel your anger rise because of what someone said to you, stop and ask for clarification as you may have totally misunderstood what the person was trying to say. Communication is tricky, you cannot read each others mind and do not know exactly what each other is thinking, so clarification is the key to understanding.
2. If someone did something that upset you, take 10 seconds, stop, step away from the situation and breath in and out slowly and count to 10, or 20, whatever is necessary for you to calm yourself so that you can address the situation in a calm, peaceful, adult manner. If you cannot do this, then excuse yourself from the situation and ask the other person(s) if you can discuss this later when you can be calm.
3. Do some soul searching so that you can understand what makes you tick and what ticks you off. Once you understand what ticks you off, you can because to control your reaction to that situation. Always remember that you have a choice in how you react, no one makes you overreact, it is by your choice and you own it, its time to Adult up and act like a professional.
As a business owner, supervisor or manager if you have employees who are displaying this type of emotional overload behavior you need to deal with it immediately because the longer you allow these types of persons to act this way at work the more they will feel that it is acceptable and when you finally have had enough and do talk to them they will become defensive because you never had said anything before and it will be harder to defend your position.
Also if this behavior is not dealt with in the workplace you are sending poor management messages to the other employees that work there and they can become resentful and not respect the management team as a whole and more than likely they will begin to look for employment elsewhere. It is a very sad situation when a business allows undesirable behavior to set the tone of the office environment.
The link below has a great article on “Dealing with Difficult People” that has good tips for managers in handling these types of people.