Managing Emotions In A Work Place Setting: How Are You Coping?

Reading time: 3 minutes

Managing emotions
isn’t easy in any setting, especially in the workplace where the pressure to hit deadlines, a lack of time and resources and all while remaining professional can push people over the edge.

Last month I went to see a good friend of mine who revealed that she had experienced a challenging few months. One of her team had ‘stormed‘ out of the building; literally.

Sort of unexpected, though not entirely. A feedback session that went wrong; possibly.

However, I suspect many of you reading this post can relate to experiencing that moment where your emotions take over, and words are exchanged.

As you reflect on the situation, I suspect many of you are mortified that you couldn’t stay calm.

Handling emotions are challenging for all parties and don’t only occur at performance review time.

So, in today’s post, I want to share some strategies for handling your own emotions, no matter what is happening around you.

Self Awareness

On the different programmes we run for our clients, a critical module is how to develop personal impact. On one specific programme, we explore a number of fundamental premises about the way we communicate that involve using the Social Style model.

I’ll never forget the first time I came across this when I first joined Excel. It was a revelation to me that people communicated in different ways.

I didn’t realise how diverse people’s communication styles were. I just knew some people were easier for me to work with than others.

What I learnt was some people, myself included, find it easy and are eager to share our feelings, ideas and opinions freely, while others need to be asked for their views and are uncomfortable talking about their feelings.

Also, I began to appreciate that it was easy for me to tell if a friend or colleague was happy or not because their emotions were highly visible.

However, there are other friends and family, as well as colleagues, who you don’t know how they feel because they keep their emotions under control and inside. It’s easy to think these individuals are ‘cold’ and detached; it’s not the case.

Once you know that certain things will trigger you or colleagues to react emotionally, you can do something about it. If you want to know more about this particular programme, then send an email here with the phrase Social Style? in the title.


Watch Out For These Common Emotions You Might ‘Feel’

Cynthia Fischer, the prof of management at Bond University, conducted a piece of research over 10 years ago that is still as relevant today. It’s based on research that uncovered the common ‘negative’ emotions that are experienced in the workplace.

They are irritation and frustration; dislike and disappointment; worry, anger and unhappiness.

Can you relate to any of these? I suspect the answer is yes, so here are a few strategies to help.



Have you ever noticed how things could get on top of you when you’re feeling ‘under the weather’?

Here, I’m referring to being tired, burning the candle at both ends or eating food which isn’t always considered good for us, e.g. highly refined or full of sugar.

Throw in a lack of water, and it’s no wonder we are on edge.

Here at the Excel office, a few members of the team have four legs and get regularly walked! The impact it has on the team is always positive.

A walk by the river, a stone’s throw from the office, seems to work wonders.


Stand Back And Evaluate

We can all get frustrated, worried or anxious.

Perhaps it’s time to stop and consider what is going on from a detached viewpoint. It’s known as second positioning.

It’s a thoroughly evaluated and tested technique to give you perspective in any situation.

Here are three questions I ask myself when I need to get perspective:

  • What specifically, in detail, has happened here?
  • What am I missing; date, insight or strategic thinking?
  • What next? What are my options?

Manage Your Mindset

In a previous set of posts and podcasts, we touched on mindset from the perspective of Professor Carol Dweck’s work. If you haven’t read her classic book on Mindset, I highly recommend it. You can also listen to my podcast on mindset on iTunes here.

Worry, doubt, fear and anger all stem from the way we think, which then produces emotions followed by actions and consequently results.

The question is how fast you can change your thinking? The answer is much quicker than you realise.


Rachel Hewitt-Hall

About Excel Communications 

Excel Communications has a 30+ year history as a global leadership and communication skills organisation dedicated to exceeding the expectations of clients through the training and development of their business and people.  You can view our case studies here.

We have a team of expert trainers delivering programmes across four continents in multiple languages. Isn’t it time you got in touch? Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.