Everyone is emotional and these emotions will often surface inappropriately and at inconvenient times. When you go to work, you can’t always put your emotions aside and deal with them after working hours. So you will need to control these thoughts and emotions but it is only natural that they will occasionally get the better of you when on the job.

Some see the demonstration of strong emotions in the workplace as unprofessional, and the person in question may feel as though they have exposed to ridicule thereby opening up a whole other can of worms.

As a co-worker it is important that you learn how to deal with people that are having difficulty controlling their emotions in the workplace.

Below are some basic tips to help you to deal with the expression of strong emotions in the workplace.

Learn emotional triggers

The fact is that you’re not a therapist and sometimes people don’t want your help. However you can learn what triggers the emotional behaviour of your coworkers. It is also important that you know what triggers you, so you may avoid any strong emotions. By identifying other’s and your own triggers, you enable yourself to take actions to avoid them therefore ensuring you maintain your productivity.

Teach coping skills

When you’re dealing with strong emotions, it can be hard to rationalise in the heat of the moment. Emotions will be contagious when working in a team environment, so it is important that you learn to control and combat these emotions. You will find it helpful to learn some coping skills, such as leaving a hot conversation to cool down and scheduling a meeting to discuss the issues later.

Take positive action

Writing is an effective way of de-coding emotions as it gives you an opportunity to reflect on your thought process. Before you take action due to your emotional triggers, write them down. Write about the situation, person or scenario that is of concern. Then identify what exactly is causing you to feel this way and why. Reflect on what you have written and then write what you believe is the most rational way of responding to them and develop a 4 step action plan to deal with this situation.

Know when to apologise

Often when there is a situation that causes extreme emotion, there is someone who will feel hurt. There is no way you can please everyone when you are working in a group, so you are bound to offend someone at some stage. When you find out that someone has been hurt by your words or actions think about that person. Reflect on the emotions they are feeling and why they may be feeling them. If you only look at your actions from your point of view it will look defensive. You need to understand that no matter what your intentions, your actions may have hurt someone else. In this light, apologising doesn’t always mean that you’re wrong, but it will mean you care.

By following these tips, you will learn to successfully handle strong emotions (whether they are yours or others) in the workplace.

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