How do you deal with emotions in the workplace? We’ve all been there. We’re having a bad day at work and can’t seem to overcome the feelings of deflation, stress, anxiety, overwhelm, anger, frustration, or lack of motivation. Having a day like this every once in a while is normal. But when the negative emotion days start to pile up one after the other, it’s a sign something is wrong.
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude“. – Maya Angelou
The real question is – what needs to change? While it’s definitely true that some work environments breed more negativity and you may need to start to find a new workplace. I would encourage you to focus on changing your attitude first. Let’s face it, finding a new job takes time and you never know what the culture will be until you get there. If you focus on managing your emotions and your attitude now, then you may find that your current workplace isn’t as bad as it seems.
I’m using the phrase ‘managing your emotions’ rather than ‘controlling your emotions’ on purpose. You can’t control your emotions! No one can. There’s plenty of science out there that shows that the emotional part of the brain is activated before the logical side. What actually happens is we feel something, think about it (even on auto-pilot), and then react.
Our reactive emotions and behaviors are the ones we need to manage. Let’s look at the difference.
Reactive: Leave your day feeling drained and unaccomplished.
Proactive: Knows what to put energy into and how to recharge throughout the day.
Reactive: Panic when something unexpected comes up.
Proactive: Maintain composure and don’t let one bad thing impact your whole day.
Reactive: Gets angry or struggles with company changes.
Proactive: Focuses on what you can control.
Reactive: Let’s nerves or anxiety build when taking on a new role or responsibility.
Proactive: Asks for help and coaching.
Reactive: Pouts or shutdown when a mistake is made.
Proactive: Sees the mistake as an opportunity to learn and identifies steps to prevent it in the future.
Reactive: Being argumentative and not receptive to feedback.
Proactive: Listens, asks clarifying questions, and reflects.
Reactive: Holds onto negative emotions.
Proactive: Knows when to let things go.
Becoming more proactive in managing your emotions is a skill, but thankfully one that can be built. It’s called emotional intelligence. I will show you HOW to do this in my upcoming Webinar: “Managing Negative Emotions in the Workplace. How to manage your emotions at work and use EQ to advance your career.” Join this class to start to change those negative days into positive ones. Days where you feel motivated, successful, and confident.