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How to manage one's emotions in the workplace

Anyone who has spent time working with a group of people knows that tantrums still happen long after we have put our toddler years behind us. 


Adults of all ages and ranks are fully capable of inappropriate emotional outbursts and breakdowns both at home and in public. However, what we can do as adults that our younger selves could not is practice self-control and self-management.


Of course, such practices are learned behaviors, and not everyone enters adulthood equipped with the tools for bolstering emotional intelligence. Therefore, it is beneficial to the well-being of workplace culture that staff are educated on the effects that one’s attitude has on others and how each individual can begin practicing control even at the worst of times.


Why Attitude Matters


According to statistics, the average person will spend around 90,0000 hours of their lives at work. That is a lot of time spent around people we probably do not know that well, so how we behave and interact with them is sure to have an impact on our daily experience.


Studies have shown that a person’s negative attitude:

  • Depletes the morale and energy of those around them.

  • Squelches creative and innovative efforts within the team.

  • Inhibits a team’s desire to collaborate and cooperate.

  • Breeds discontent and divisiveness within the company.


On the other hand, promoting workplace happiness:


  • Inspires brainstorming and idea exchanges.

  • Encourages growth and development among the staff.

  • Establishes a safe and welcoming environment for expression.

  • Increases the overall level of employee satisfaction.


It is hard to imagine anyone wanting to deal with the effects of negative attitudes, yet these situations are easily found and are often associated with high employee turnover at all levels.


For organizations that strive for employee retention instead, it should be clear that attitude does matter, and it is worth encouraging positivity at all costs.


Developing Emotional Intelligence


We all have emotions and a basic understanding of how they make us, and others feel. Therefore, when we speak of emotional intelligence, it is generally referring to the degree that this comprehension has developed. 


Because we come from different backgrounds, some people grow up possessing a deeper awareness and control of emotions, putting them higher on the emotional intelligence scale. Those who score lower should not despair, however, as they are fully capable of cultivating this attribute within themselves.


To begin the process of encouraging and growing emotional intelligence within the members of your company, start by:


  • Leading by Example – An essential leadership principle, you must be the change you want to see in others. Utilize calming techniques, apologize for missteps, and practice self-care rituals that help diminish anger and unnecessary emotional projection.

  • Creating a Safe Environment – Sometimes, people need to state how they feel to get past it. By creating a safe way to communicate all emotions, like the use of emojis or color codes, individuals can feel heard and supported in an undisruptive manner.

  • Provide Relevant Training – Take time to hold seminars on subjects like confidence building, mindful leadership, the importance of self-care, and the value of empathy. We can all use a refresher, no matter how enlightened we may feel.

  • Implement Stress Policies – Make a note of different stress management exercises that are proven to work and then choose one or two that can be implemented company-wide. With everyone on the same page, you can build an environment of team support. 


Though it may take a bit of time and effort, investing in the emotional intelligence of your staff will always be worthwhile. Not only are you improving an employee’s job satisfaction and productivity, but you are also enhancing the experience of all business partners and customer interactions your staff regularly conducts.


A New Way of Doing Business


For those who have been in the workforce for a few decades, the focus on emotions and empathy may seem a bit unnecessary. Paying attention to the needs of staff and helping them cope with stressful situations was not of much concern in the previous generations. Instead, it was more common in the past for employers to care more about the bottom line, often at the expense of the labor. 


However, studies have shown that valuing employees and promoting self-awareness and emotional control are vital in establishing a thriving culture of engaged individuals. Additionally, a whole new generation of workers has grown up listening to these reports and expect a different environment than their parents and grandparents did.


To populate a company with teams of personally invested mindful employees, it is crucial that leaders pay attention to more than just their profit margin. These days, a successful organization must focus on the quality of the people they hire and how all departments interact with one another on a routine basis.


Through modeling desired behaviors and teaching emotional management strategies, you will be well on your way to establishing a system where individuals can feel valued. All of which allows each team member to contribute to the success of the whole positively.




Pandit Dasa is a mindful leadership expert, motivational keynote speaker and author who has spoken at Fortune 500 companies and helps organizations improve employee engagement, retention and workplace happiness. He helps individuals develop positive leadership qualities, lower stress and anxiety, increase focus and productivity and boost emotional intelligence.

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