Effective communication in the workplace
Effective communication in the workplace

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2 Managing your emotions

A photograph of a woman sitting at her desk covering her face with her hands.
Figure 2 It’s important to be able to manage your emotions.

If the circumstances that lead to difficult situations can be prevented, this will reduce the likelihood of confrontations and arguments. It is important to understand your own emotional responses in such situations, as these will impact on your communication skills.

Understanding your emotions is essential before you can begin to manage them.

Remember that you can choose how you react to circumstances that you experience both at work and at home. The way that you react to negative experiences in your professional life may need to be different from how you react to situations in your personal life. For example, raising your voice to children in order to discipline them may not have serious repercussions at home, but is unacceptable to shout at colleagues in most work places.

You’ll find lots of discussion and advice online about managing your emotions in the workplace. Pearson (2017) recommends the following approaches:

  • Facing negative emotions
    • Reflect on and learn to recognise your own emotional triggers – what provokes an emotional reaction in you? Ask trusted colleagues and friends for their observations.
    • Stay calm, breathe deeply and model behaviour – for example, if you feel your emotions rising, pause and take a deep breath. That short delay can help reason rather than instinct drive your response.
    • Fine tune your radar – learn to recognise when others’ negative emotions are rising.

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