Effective Ways to Handle Emotions at Workplace

'It is always important to discuss your professional concerns with your manager, but only when you are in a composed frame of mind.'

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By Baishali Mukherjee

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Most of us have gone through such situations at some point of time in our professional lives. That time when our favourite assignment got cancelled after sheer hard work; when a client snapped at us unjustly; when our colleague and close friend was handed the pink slip all of a sudden, or when our manager allocates more work at a time when we are already weighed down with assignments.

In our personal lives, our reactions to such volatile situations might be shouting, hiding in a corner, feeling sorry for ourselves. But in the professional sphere, these behaviours could potentially damage our reputation and our future prospect.

In an exclusive interview with Entrepreneur India, Rajeev Bhardwaj, VP, HR, Sun Life Financial Asia Service Centre, points out some efficient ways to handle emotions at the workplace.

According to Bhardwaj emotions are an intrinsic part of our lives. "While some are adept at controlling emotions, others lack this "strategic' capability. Whichever category you belong to, there will be situations at work when you may experience an overwhelming sense of emotion. However, it is extremely important to maintain our composure and not come across as volatile individuals, whenever confronted with situations that affect us emotionally," he elucidated.

Prudence and Discretion

Bhardwaj who has successfully managed employee relations during as many as 12 Mergers and Acquisitions at Coca-Cola India, strongly vouched for prudence and discretion.

"In a professional setting, you are always advised to restrain yourself and express your opinions or feelings in a more composed manner, lest you hamper your image. Sometimes, fairly decent and well-behaved people, when overwhelmed by emotions or in a fit of anger, tend to go on a verbal rampage in front of their managers or colleagues. This can scar your professional image and may overshadow all the good you have done so far," he shared.

Violent Outburst Only Worsens Situation

A veteran in the field who has spent 25 years contributing to the HR policies of diverse organizations across sectors, Bhardwaj advised that one should always remember that a violent or ugly outburst will never be of any help. "It will only serve to further worsen the situation and will give another reason or excuse to your tormentors to harass you. Worse still, it will justify their actions in front of the managers," he cautioned.

"Discuss Professional Concerns With Your Manager'

Bhardwaj has worked in multiple organizations to devise customized solutions for different HR concerns, launching different policy initiatives aimed at bringing employees closer to the management. "It is always important to discuss your professional concerns with your manager, but only when you are in a composed frame of mind. Preferable is to sleep over the issue, come back more calm next day, and then raise your concerns," he suggested.

"Never Wallow in Self-pity'

Self-pity is an absolute no for him. "There is always a subtle and reasonable way to find a solution to any problem. Do not wallow in self-pity, look for a way out. For example, if you are not able to iron your differences with your manager or team members, seek for a change in department or team and start afresh," he recommended.

Solution for Managers

Bhardwaj also has solutions for the managers. "If you are a manager and have a junior employee grappling with such concerns, you must try to be compassionate and advise the individual to exercise restraint. Put yourself in his/her shoes, rather than judging them for their behaviour. Conduct a one-to-one open heart discussion with the person to give him/her a valve for venting out," he counselled.

Baishali Mukherjee

Former Freelancer

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