Have a problem at work? Deal with it!
If that sounds a bit brash, consider the context. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that everyone has problems whether at work, home or elsewhere.
However, some people have a better professional demeanor in dealing with problems and not letting problems come between them and their relationships.
How to Deal With Emotions to Maximize Productivity
Everybody gets mad about things now and then, gets a little teared up about this or that. It’s OK to have problems. It’s OK to get emotional about things. What’s not always OK are certain ways of reacting to emotions that disrupt daily life.
If you are mad, the point is that you’ll want to do something about it. If you don’t deal with emotions, they’ll have a way of dealing with you in the end.
1. Be Optimistic
For starters, Wealthy Gorilla posted an article about having an optimistic attitude just last week. It takes only a little practice to check a pessimistic attitude at the door and bring in an optimistic “can do” attitude into work.
The main point from this article can’t be overstated, just because you have low moments doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. It’s no secret that positive attitudes are infectious and are highly desirable in the workplace.
2. Go With the Flow
Following company culture matters quite a bit.
46% of new hires quit or are fired within the first 18 months and these issues stem from conflicts that can be controlled through emotional checks: how crisis’ are handled, communication styles, acceptance of feedback, and amount of openness and transparency.
With the right attitude and interpersonal skills, such conflicts can be easily be positive experiences that successfully impact a job.
3. Don’t Gossip
Gossip is a form of warfare that exists because of participation.
If you don’t fan the flames, gossip won’t continue. While, it’s easy to get caught in the trap, it’s better to leave gossip alone.
Not only will it make you able to focus on your specific duties, but it will communicate to others that you are serious about work rather than how you can be misdirected into behaving.
Though people might think of you as a party killer, the level of respect they have for your performance will be the measuring stick used when it comes time for evals, pay raises, layoffs and such.
4. Don’t Wonder What If, Just Ask or Move On
It’s difficult to know how others feel about how you feel, but it’s largely insignificant. As this dealing with job stress article points out, stress is not a reaction to an event, it’s a personal interpretation of an event.
Yes, you want to be liked. You also probably want to like other people.
Everyone feels that way.
Also, consider that maybe the pressing issue isn’t actually that big of a deal. When we’re heated things seem like significant, but in the end how many issues really are all that important?
True, a guy that dies from misusing fireworks might be a pretty big deal, but is it related to the next meeting you have to attend?
True, the co-worker that saw you drunk at the bar last weekend may or may not be telling the rest of the office about it, but does that have any impact on how well you get your job done today?
Sometimes yes, these things can have an impact, directly or indirectly, so it might be fine to spend a few minutes on damage control now and then, to be able to cross bridges and get on with work.
Most significantly for the overly emotional, self-critical person: your boss likes you, your co-workers like you. They all think you’re perfect for the job. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t keep you around. Your job is to continue to give them reasons to want to keep you around.
Don’t dwell on what might or might not be going on in other people’s minds. Get the “what ifs” out of the way and start focusing on the things you can actually do something about.
5. When to Hold Back
While in a perfect world no one would hold your faults against you, that’s not the actual case because the world isn’t perfect and people sometime use things against you.
Your office colleagues, as you do also, have a responsibility to themselves and the company. So they aren’t likely to stick their neck out for every one of your issues.
It is important to know when to speak up and when to hush up.
Particular office dynamics are a case-by-case scenario, but doesn’t require much, if any, thought.
Suppressing natural feelings may create more pressure for some people, but unless you’re an advice columnist you don’t get paid for your feelings.
Personal attitudes are not relevant to the company culture, and probably not what you were hired for.
That’s also to say that just because personal issues shouldn’t be brought to the table doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be acknowledged.
Colleagues want to know that they are working with a human and want to have someone to share successes and failures with. They need to know that other people have struggles too.
Particularly, co-workers need to know dynamics that might impact workloads. If you have a migraine, it’s probably helpful to share that. Most people aren’t going to be judgemental about your issues.
If they are, that’s really their problem. What is important is that there needs to be a gauge for expectations.
So, be free to let out any and all things, but just remember there is a time and place for every comment. Not all things have a hard and fast answer and at some point it falls to your judgement about what is safe to reveal.
6. Don’t Let Feelings Affect Motivation and Performance
As far as recognizing when to hold back and when to let it out, try to keep your mission at the forefront. Only 29% of people are fully engaged with their work and most engagement has to do with the employee’s relationship with the boss.
Transparency, honesty, openness is the way to get away from most problems because it shows a high level of integrity.
You could question whether you are in the right job, but chances are that you are in the right job if you’ve been doing it for any great length of time. Regardless of whether you are in the right job, it is always good to deal with unresolved issues that are part of the company culture.
Employers know too well the cost of unhappy employees and the cancers that can spread. However, that doesn’t mean they want to fire you if they don’t agree with you. It just means they want everyone working as a team.
In consideration of colleagues and yourself, balance differences of feelings and focus on the job at hand, don’t make everyone else deal with your mood swings.
A basic goal is to come to terms with emotions in a way that affects work in a positive way. So that motivation and performance doesn’t suffer as a result of feelings and emotions.
You know those people that really get riled up about the latest controversy in the media or get really upset about what a co-worker has done and they can’t stop talking about it? Those people are not the managers or executives of the company.
Those are the people next out the door. People that can’t keep their emotions in check, also can’t conduct thoughtful unbiased discussions in which people with all viewpoints can contribute.
A successful person can let go of their emotions and feelings and carry on with their work.
A factor known as emotional IQ has numerous consequences for all involved, such as 71% of hiring managers saying they favor people with high emotional IQ over intellectual IQ.
The real value with emotional IQ are the traits successful people attain: listening, taking criticism, admitting and learning from mistakes, being cool under pressure, being mindful of non-verbal communication, and others, are deeply important.
These are the types of emotions to have at work.
It is important to remember that employers seek people with natural talents, things that can’t be taught, when trying to form a strong team.
Emotional IQ is a large percentage of that untaught, natural talent. And while emotional IQ cannot be taught, it can be harnessed within the individual by awareness and practice.
Knowing that emotions can negatively impact hiring, firing and everything in between is the first step. Then, attaining emotional stability, optimism and reacting positively to situations is something that should be harnessed as much as possible.
Emotions are healthy and can should be accessed when they contribute positively. Those emotions that bring people down are what should be avoided.
The trick is to know the difference and learn how to use emotions that propel and motivate you and not those that are unrelated to the job at hand.