2 minutes

Handling emotions in the workplace

Getting students ready for the emotional side of work begins now. Give yours a head start with these tips on controlling their emotions in the workplace from Head of LifeSkills Kirstie Mackey.

A full-time job means spending up to 40 hours (or more) every week with the same people – enough to test anybody’s patience. When things get stressful, it’s important to stop and think before you act.

Take a time out

If someone or something has upset you, take your time and tackle the problem the right way. Firing off an angry email might make you feel better in the heat of the moment, but it will make things worse in the long run.

  • Fifteen minutes away from your desk normally makes problems (and your stress levels) feel a lot more manageable.
  • Think about the cause of the problem. Is it an issue with an individual, your team or the job itself?
  • Once you’ve had time to think, it’s best to tackle any issues in a formal meeting environment.
  • It’s important to focus on finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems.

Dealing with disappointment

When someone gets promoted ahead of you, you don’t get put in your preferred team or your efforts at work aren’t recognised it’s natural to feel down. But it’s important to learn from your disappointments and try to avoid them happening again in the future.

Pinpoint what went wrong. Start by asking for feedback – ask your boss what you could’ve done better and even talk to and learn from the person who got the promotion.

Help yourself improve. Set personal goals and share them with your manager.

Don’t sulk. Use your disappointment as motivation to keep learning and improving.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that work is a professional environment and you’ll be expected to manage your emotions in a professional way. Don’t take negative feedback personally. And try to understand your emotions and work with them, not against them. It’ll make you a better employee and probably a happier one too.

More on this topic from LifeSkills

The workplace challenge

Managing your emotions at work

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