Steps to Management Success – Step 55: Leave Emotion at the Door

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 1st, 2010


Leave Emotion at the Door

We’ve all heard the horror stories about the “boss from hell.” Perhaps you’ve had the misfortune of suffering under one of these emotionally incontinent jerks yourself. The yelling. The blowups over relatively minor matters. The dubious ability of being able to reduce subordinates to tears. If you’ve seen such workplace brutality or been victimized by it, then you already know: there must be a better way.

WHAT IT MEANS: We all have emotional swings—periods when we are full of optimism and life seems great, nothing can go wrong. And then there are those other times, when we think life stinks. When we’re depressed or negative, we may be tempted to inflict our worst moments on others. After all, misery does love company. Nevertheless—and this is critical—such emotional splattering is not good for business. It can cause you to make the wrong decision and take the wrong action. It can tank morale. And it can erode respect for and belief in your leadership abilities.

ACTION PLAN: Manage your emotional swings to avoid pitfalls that lead to stress. Accept defeats and disappointments without letting them ruin your whole day. Tell yourself that no other person or situation “makes” you angry. You make yourself angry. Enter potentially anger-arousing situations on yellow alert. Let your shield be the knowledge that your wrath is ultimately unproductive and unbecoming. If you want to be perceived as the consummate professional, then be the consummate professional.

EVEN BETTER: Emotional outbursts are almost invariably a matter of our losing perspective. Unfortunately, the workplace, with its sundry pressures and pettiness, is quite prone to such a loss. You can try to maintain a more calm perspective by slowing down, taking a few deep breaths, looking out the window, taking a short break—and also by taking a long-range view: most of the things that we get bent out of shape about are quickly forgotten within a few days or weeks. So why waste all that energy?

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

Roger Due

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