How do you handle emotions at workplace?

When we hear names like Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, and Charlie Sheen, the word that pops into our head is ‘drama queen’ or ‘drama king.’

Emotions are everywhere and how can the work space be spared? Hence dealing with them is unavoidable. We are all biologically hardwired and loaded with emotions and carry them to our work environment as much as any other place. Expecting a workplace without the 'day to day' drama is unrealistic.

One employee’s emotional imbalance can make or break the productivity of work in a team or sometimes the entire organization. It doesn’t matter how good the employee’s performance is if there is no control over emotional display. Here goes some of the types:

The Baby: These are the people who get offended easily and are bound to throw tantrums around the office. They seek attention in their acts.

The Righteous Top performers: These types, though most competitive at work, will not accept a failure or even a new employee.

The self-pitying victim: These types see themselves as the victims, constantly under attack from colleagues and the higher management.

The Narcissist: These types are self-absorbed, focused exclusively on self-desire, and are taking credits for their co-worker's hardships constantly.

So how do leaders read such emotional cues and handle the situation?

  • Paying close attention to every emotion. It could be overt or less obvious such as facial expression, body language, types of word usage, and the tone.
  • Empathize with the employees. It does not have to be a long conversation. Sometimes even just a few words can make a huge difference to the situation. This helps in building a positive rapport.
  • Finding the root cause of their emotional outburst. Understanding the underlying aspect helps the employee feel heard and respected. It will help you help them.
  • Reaching out with a helping hand in addressing the issue and finding a solution to a problem aids in gaining the employee trust.
  • Giving space to help cope with the situation can sometimes be effective. After all, time and space heals most issues. It can be a break at work, day off from work, or decreasing the workload.
  • Keeping dignity is very important, especially in the case of a breakdown. Do not penalize the employee for their action unless it is an anger management issue, where counseling or disciplinary actions need to be taken.
  • Reframe messages positively. Sometimes the words chosen and the tone usage can have a negative impact on the situation.
  • Anticipate and handle responses positively to any changes. Communicating honestly and provide an opportunity to vent out concerns with the transition.
  • Staying connected and being caring can solve most of the issues.
  • Train the supervisors and managers in positive management.

Let the drama be an opportunity for improvement rather than a failure in bringing down the team effort.

Is it difficult for emotional people to fit in today's cut-throat corporate world? Please put in your comments.

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