Keeping Emotion Out of Business

“I am so angry, I could spit!”

That was a line from a new character on the Lifetime series Devious Maids last night. Have you ever felt that way? Did you ever just want to clench your fists and scream, or kick something or punch a wall and then what you end up doing is crying and hitting the vending machine up for a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup.

reesesOh – that’s just me?

Seriously, one of the challenges women have is the fact that we have emotions that sometimes come into play in our work-a-day world.

One Purposeful Woman that I recently encountered is a small business owner and was feeling taken advantage of by a client. She couldn’t fire the client because she needed the work, more importantly, she was enjoying the work. But the client kept adding things to the project; work that was outside the original agreement.

Rather than say – hey, let’s go ahead and modify the agreement to reflect these new components, she just said “yes” and kept adding hours even though the invoice would remain the same.

The straw that broke the camel’s back?

The client questioned the invoice.

101778353WHAT???? After all I have done for you.. You can imagine how that rant continued.

So what is a purposeful woman to do when a circumstance arises that triggers our emotions?

In the article from Mind Tools entitled Managing Your Emotions At Work, the author shares insights from a study that was conducted.

In 1997, Bond University professor of management Cynthia Fisher conducted a study called “Emotions at Work: What Do People Feel, and How Should We Measure It?

According to Fisher’s research, the most common negative emotions experienced in the workplace are as follows:

  • Frustration/irritation.
  • Worry/nervousness.
  • Anger/aggravation.
  • Dislike.
  • Disappointment/unhappiness.

The article offers specific advice for dealing with each emotion, starting with frustration:

  • Stop and evaluate – One of the best things you can do is mentally stop yourself, and look at the situation. Ask yourself why you feel frustrated. Write it down, and be specific. Then think of one positive thing about your current situation. For instance, if your boss is late for your meeting, then you have more time to prepare. Or, you could use this time to relax a little.

The first thing NOT TO DO? React. Don’t phone, text, email or Facebook about the situation. Take time to breath and reflect before you take any action.

Cheryl Sowa is a Public Relations Coordinator for America’s Best Companies and she wrote an article about Keeping Emotions in Control at work. She offers some great advice:

  • Know your business-related fears. Once you know what you are most afraid of at work, such as financial troubles or a slow in sales, you can take on your fear and handle it professionally. Have a plan of action ready.
  • Know yourself. Think back to how you have reacted in the past to certain situations, how you handled them, and what others thought. Think about how these reactions would affect your business setting and employees.
  • Take a break. Before letting your emotions get the best of you, stop and think. Break from the usual habits of reacting right away and think your reactions through.
  • Emotions can’t be helped. They are bound to happen, especially in a business setting. As a small business owner, learn to control these emotions by thinking ahead, preparing for every situation, and keeping a level head.

The last tip is important. Emotions are going to happen so it is just a matter of how you deal with the situation. So if you find emotions about to get the best of you, take a deep breath and watch this video of Johnny Paycheck’s classic song “Take this job and shove it!” Then find a productive way to manage the situation!