How To Manage YOUR Emotions At Work

How To Manage YOUR Emotions At Work

Work and having a career can be a very frustrating experience sometimes – things go well, sometimes not so well, sometimes things just rumble along with little or no impact upon us.

Tasks that we have invested large amounts of time into do not always work out how we wanted them to or, worse than that, the rug gets pulled from under your feet and you must start again.

Frustrating! Maddening! Annoying!

What is needed here is to ensure that the frustrations and stresses are just that and not a reflection upon you or what you stand for and believe in. Reacting badly to this and letting your anger out in extreme behaviours is never a good thing and can seriously damage your career and development within the organisation.

The focus always falls upon the negative side of stress and emotional situations: colleagues sharing their success and good news always brings some joy to the workplace if this is shared constructively and professionally.

The most common negative emotions seen by managers are:


Frustration usually occurs when we feel trapped in a situation from which we see no easy escape or remedy. This can be caused by many different factors but they all need to be dealt with as soon as possible before they emerge as anger and other negative forces. The trick here is to press Pause and evaluate, carefully and rationally, exactly what the situation is. If possible extract the positives from the situation and reason with yourself how these can help you both now and moving

Being nervous and worrying

This is a perfectly natural emotion, but it needs to be carefully handled so that you do not lose all sense of proportion. Too much of this inevitably leads to loss of productivity, rational thought processes and ineffective decision making. Try to avoid being with people who are excessively negative or who worry about everything they experience in the workplace. Avoid as much as possible the rumour process in the workplace and focus on the facts of what is known rather then just thinking about what MIGHT happen. Ask yourself what can be done to improve the situation and if possible map this out onto a document that you can keep referring to which will guide you out of the situation.


A very destructive emotion that those around you and definitely those on the receiving end will ever forget. Few of us handle this emotion well. A sure-fire way of losing your job! If you feel this creeping up on you take positive steps and withdraw yourself from the situation and recognise when this is happening. Stopping early before becoming angry is a key management skill.

Disliking colleagues

Sadly, we cannot chose those whom we work with – if we could we would have very different managers, team members and customers BUT we have to get on with those around us. Try to respect them and be the bigger person by practising the old virtues of courtesy and respect – it may be hard and often difficult, but it is the best way to work collaboratively and successfully. Sometimes be assertive to get your point across but be careful to exercise this skill with care, making sure that you still show courtesy and respect rather than steamrollering those around you!

Experiencing disappointment

If we are lucky things will go our way for more than half of the time but even the most successful people have experienced disappointment or unhappiness in their working lives, even severe disappointment after all the effort and passion that they have put into a particular project. Disappointment can severely limit your productivity and application to work tasks especially if the promotion that you were seeking did not come your way and went to someone else who you consider was a weaker candidate than you. Try to understand that things just cannot go your way all the time and that sometimes initial disappointment can grow into a different situation that actually better suits you and your style. Being prepared to adjust your goal to a different path may take some soul-searching but often pays off in the medium to long term as does analysing, objectively, what is causing your disappointment in the first place. Always remember that colleagues like to work with colleagues who are upbeat and positive about what the future holds!

The most successful managers are those who learn to deal effectively and efficiently with a range of emotions that their careers throw up.

Good Luck!

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