In the first section of this post I’ll compare two people I know, one who manages emotions well, and another who doesn’t. A manager from my past job was the leader that managed emotions well. She could remain composed and calm even in challenging situations. By remaining professional and not allowing emotion to take over, they were able diffuse stressful situations between customers and employees. Their ability to set an example and create a team environment that was positive led them. The CEO of the company that I was a part of had an issue managing emotions. He was known for his tendency to rant at employees and fly off the rails in meetings. The result was a hostile work environment, high turnover and high levels of stress among staff. These emotional outbursts caused damage to the relationships between clients and their partners.
The second half of my blog post will focus on how leaders can manage workplace emotions. Leaders can demonstrate appropriate emotional self-control through being mindful of their emotions and taking professional steps to control them. Meditation and mindfulness can be helpful in increasing emotional self-awareness. Leaders can use emotions to their organizational advantage by creating an environment that encourages employees to feel comfortable expressing their emotions, and encouraging them to contribute their ideas and perspectives. This will increase creativity, productivity and collaboration.
An organization may adopt a research-supported policy regarding emotional expressions in the workplace. An organization could adopt a zero tolerance policy for any unprofessional behavior. This would include bullying and emotional outbursts. Employees could be trained on managing emotions and how to report and correct unprofessional behaviour. An additional action option is to create a confidential way for employees to complain about unprofessional conduct and respond quickly to them with action and investigation. The organization might also consider establishing an Employee Assistance Program, to help employees deal with emotional problems and better manage their emotions.
Below are some tips to help leaders deal with situations where employees or customers become extremely emotionally charged.
- Keep calm and collected to diffuse the situation.
- Listen actively and empathize with the person’s feelings
- Identify the root cause of the person’s emotional outburst.
- You can assure the individual that your concerns will be addressed and taken seriously.
- As necessary, include a human resource representative or any other relevant personnel to the conversation.
The management of emotions is crucial in all organizational settings. It requires leaders to become self-aware and to understand how to control and express emotions in a manner that benefits the organisation. Leaders must create an environment that is emotionally safe and responsive to emotional situations. They also need to hold their employees responsible for their actions.