Emotions in the workplace

For those of you that haven’t seen this movie and have or do work in an office, you’ll get a pretty good laugh out of it if you choose to watch it!! Here’s the trailer (oldie but goodie): The Office Space trailer

I, personally, had the kind of week that makes me want to grab the office printer, a few of my office pals and pound the living crap out of this object!! hahahahaha!

Alas, that’s not the appropriate response (too bad) and my emotions got the better of me this week. I was weary and frustrated with a continued workflow issue that has folks wrapped around the axle and not playing nice in the sandbox. I found myself getting sucked into the frenzy and needing to take a step back from it to gain perspective. So, what does that mean exactly? Here are the steps to do just that:

1. Neutralize the emotions:

  • Accept that you have negative feelings and that these feelings are normal.
  • Acknowledge the feelings and their root causes. Example: “I’m angry about the way George spoke to me in that meeting.”
  • Identify how you might resolve your feelings. Example: “If George apologized to me, I would feel a LOT better.”

The frustration had me dig a bit deeper this week where I found this cool article: Managing Your Emotions At Work. This was the little nugget for me that I found the most useful, but the whole article has good stuff in it!

Stop and evaluate – One of the best things you can do is mentally stop yourself, and look at the situation. Ask yourself why you feel frustrated. Write it down, and be specific.

2. Build positive energy:

  • Have a good attitude.
  • Frame things positively.
  • Create actionable items.
  • Try to keep emotions out of your statements. State feelings and opinions in as objective a manner as possible. Label your thoughts as thoughts by starting sentences with, “I think…”
  • Take a break when you need it.

3. See the other side:

  • If you say, “I see where you’re coming from,” make sure you mean it. If you can’t see where they are coming from, ask them to tell you more. Often, sharing information can break down even the toughest person’s defenses.
  • Invite the other person to step into your shoes. Tell them a story, outline consequences, and explain how you feel in an objective manner. Share as much information as you can.

Here’s the deal. I’m great at doing this for myself and usually pretty good at doing this with teams. My frustration comes in when I can’t seem to get folks to #3. I’m heading into a meeting at the end of this week where I need to get others to put themselves in someone else’s shoes (3 teams actually) so we can make forward progress. The trouble is the emotions are getting in the way. 🙂

Let’s have a conversation about emotions in the workplace, just you and me! You can schedule a time here. There is no cost. This is not a sales call masquerading as a strategy call. I just want to support you. The topic is up to you.

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