We care and take pride in what we do. As a result, events, situations, and conversations can have a real emotional impact on us.
Negative emotions, expressed as fear, anger, stress, hostility and feelings of guilt, can affect other coworkers and also have a profound effect on our personal reputation.
There is scientific evidence that women are most likely to express their emotions in the workplace through crying, while men are fighting and showing anger.
Regardless of gender, we certainly don’t want to be seen as the crying woman or man who threw the stapler when something wasn’t going our way.
It is also not realistic to suppress all emotions – that inhibits us and creates the perception of being a machine. In general, we want to be known as the man or woman who can handle stress, pressure, and emotions while being authentic and human.
Sure, easier said than done, and the pursuit of absolute perfection may not be realistic. Awareness of our triggers, the impact of our emotions on others, and the perceptions we generate are critical to not only keeping our emotions in check, but also managing our personal reputation.
There are four tips I offer my personal branding clients that I use for managing emotions in order to manage your personal brand.
- In a frustrating or emotional situation, keep calm and self-control. Breathe, do not react too quickly or without the cuff, identify the trigger or reason why your emotions are increasing, and speak slowly. If it takes a moment to ponder the situation, don’t be afraid to say it. “I get angry. I would like to pause for a moment and think about it so that I can respond appropriately.
- When you need to vent ask for a human moment. Problems in the workplace can be frustrating. If you contact your supervisor or colleague with a problem, they will want to help you solve the problem. However, this may not be what you are looking for. Maybe you just want to come in and deflate. If you do not indicate this intention in advance, you can create the impression of a complainant. An operations manager laid down the “five-minute rule”. Anyone can come into their office and vent for five minutes. After that, they have to switch to constructive problem-solving mode. She said that most people stop after three minutes.
- Start thinking in negative innuendos. Negative innuendo is when you internalize the negatives in a conversation and stop hearing the positives. Imagine a 99% positive performance review and your manager offers a constructive point. It goes away just hearing the negative point which makes this point big and dramatic and in turn undermines confidence in your worth. We all find ourselves in this situation from time to time. Go to a member of your personal board of directors whom you identified in the networking part of this series and talk about it, get the relief, and spread the negative innuendo before it hurts your reputation.
- Don’t get defensive, bring alternatives. Recently, a marketing director went on a business review and knew he had not met his lead generation goals. He apologized for missing the target: “We didn’t have any new content for the website. We couldn’t get push emails out the door. And we received product information late.” The defensive made the conversation emotional and combative.
There are times when goals are missed and even mistakes are made. Provide the facts and identify an alternative or countermeasure to fill the gap. “We missed our lead generation targets this month for a number of reasons. We’ve analyzed the problem and are taking these three steps over the next month to resolve it. “
There is no doubt that stressful business situations will arise – it all depends on how we deal with and manage them.