Today we’re discussing how you can prevent outbursts at work be it in the office or in virtual office settings.
Let’s get to it.
Everyone has stress. I haven’t met a single person who has a stress-free life. The difference is in how people manage stress. Some people deal with stress better than others.
The following strategies will enable you to control heightened emotions and find perspective on the subject.
(1) You Control Your Emotions
First off, remind yourself that you can only control so much. While you can’t control outcomes of events, other people’s reactions and behavior, what you can control is yourself. Specifically, you can control your emotions. So when things feel out of hand and you feel like you’re losing control, remind yourself that you are in charge. The other thing is that no one can make you angry without your consent. Meaning, if you don’t allow someone to get a rise out of you, they won’t.
(2) Remove Yourself from the Situation
One of the best things you can do to prevent any unwanted reactions that you’ll end up regretting or outbursts that are unprofessional is to take a time out. Remove yourself from the situation. Excuse yourself if you’re in a meeting. You could say that you’re getting a call and you need to take it. Always have a plausible excuse at the ready. And if you’re less comfortable with this approach just excuse yourself without providing an explanation. What if you are caught a bit off guard, with a phone call. For example, if someone calls you and you’re not in a good place to talk at the moment or the person is a troublemaker and you need to strategize your communication with this individual, then say “let me give you a call back. I’m in the middle of something.” This will give you time to collect yourself, but also to get more information on why the person is calling. Someone on your team could have insights on the matter and you’ll return the call with a more informed standpoint. If you
(3) Find the Teachable Moment
In retrospect when you look at situations that upset you or interactions with difficult people that annoy you, try to train yourself to find the lesson in such instances. You can even do this in-situ, while you’re experiencing the situation. This might be slightly more challenging because it requires you to compartmentalize and rise above your heightened emotions, but if you can, ask yourself “What is the teachable moment here?” In other words, what is the lesson to be learned from this experience? This will help provide perspective on the matter, allowing you to do some introspection, and prevent a current outburst or even future outburst.
So there you have it. Three ways to control your emotions to prevent an unwanted outburst at work be it in the physical office space or in your virtual office when working remotely. These strategies pertain to both types of settings. To recap: (1) don't give them your consent to make you angry, you and only you are in charge of your emotions, reactions, and behavior, (2) take a time-out from a zoom call, an in-person meeting, or a telephone call by removing yourself from the situation. This will allow you to take time to think, collect your thoughts, and calm your mindspace. You can have an excuse at the ready, or just take a break without providing an explanation – that part’s up to you. (3) Find a teachable moment in the situation. If you feel like you can analyze the situation while you’re experiencing it, all the power to you. If not, then analyze it after the fact and take notes on how you can prevent something like this from transpiring in the future.
As you’re implementing these strategies remember that you’re human. Anger and frustration due to stress are completely natural reactions. But also know that you now have the tools and resources to help you rise above the anger and prevent yourself from acting rashly on heightened emotions, which we particularly want to avoid in professional and workplace settings. Practice these techniques and practice them not only when you’re stressed but also when things are good and you have a clear head about you. This will enable you to use them instinctively and on autopilot before anger has a grip on you.
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