Manage Your Emotions
Managing your own emotions is one of the skills you use to overcome workplace negativity. Whenever you are faced with another person’s anger, frustration, pessimism, or skepticism, you should have a mechanism in place to immediately decouple your emotions from what you are observing. Decoupling your emotions in the workplace just means that regardless of behaviors that are being directed your way, you can control what you say and do and not get easily pulled into the other person’s feelings at the moment. This can be hard to do, especially when the other person being negative is someone you know very well or is a well-liked or well respected co-worker.
The best way to decouple your emotions and your responses is through the use of self-talk. It is a very effective way to stay in control of your feelings, while at the same time overcome workplace negativity. For many people, however, decoupling their personal emotions from the behaviors and emotions that are being sent is very difficult.
There are many ways to use self-talk. For example, for that angry person, self-talk just means telling yourself that you must stay in-control. You could say, “Bill is not worth getting upset over. I can handle his anger."
Sometimes you may need to control a physical reaction such as your voice. You might even need to control your vocabulary. In this case, say to yourself, “Stay calm and speak slowly. Keep my voice down and choose the right words."
It’s also a good way to help you stay focused on the negative situation and your strategy by saying something like, “Get Bill to explain what project he is angry about. Let him vent before responding."
There are many different words, phrases or methods you can use in these types of situations. Most of them sound pretty simple on paper. But when you are faced with confrontation and anger, it is very easy to get drawn in. Self-talk can be a big help in controlling your reactions. It is generally a very effective technique in managing what you say and do during the work day when negativity pops up unexpectedly.