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10 Tips to Cope with Negative Emotions at Work

It's a fact of life - if you want to succeed in business, you
need to know how to interact and communicate effectively with
your employees, business partners, vendors, prospects, and
customers. As a small business owner, this might involve rapid
shifting from one type of language to another. For example, how
you'd explain your expectations to your employees might be
different than how you'd convey these to your business partner
or potential client.

As we all know, sometimes language breaks down, and
communication grinds to a halt. This can leave the owner feeling
irritable, angry, frustrated... and with a desire to vent to
his/her employees or staff.

While there may be instances that such sharing would be
appropriate or helpful, there are many instances where this is
not the case, and venting anyway may result in a significant
loss of credibility and respect from key employees and contacts.

So, what are some effective ways to manage emotions in the work
place environment?

1. Good self-care is the best medicine. An employer who tends to
his/her own physical, emotional and mental needs, regularly, is
going to be more adept at managing negative or hostile emotions
at work. Start with adequate sleep, good nutrition, and regular

2. Know what anger and frustration feels like to you - both in
your head and in your body. Sometimes, we can get really "cut
off" from our feelings and act rashly without knowing why. Spend
some time knowing what anger feels like to you, and where you
notice it in your body.

3. Take a 10 minute walk. When you desire to "vent", excuse
yourself from the office and take a brisk 10 minute walk around
the parking lot or neighborhood. This will clear your mind and
may save you from losing your temper.

4. Vent to a mentor, coach, or trusted colleague. The act of
sharing your frustration and fears will calm you down. These
people can support you and help you move forward.

5. Ask, "What am I afraid of?". Most often, anger or frustration
appears when one of our fears has been activated. By going
directly for the source of your feelings, you may be able to
short-circuit them.

6. Make an exhaustive "do not want" list. In this list, you
write down everything you do NOT want in the situation such as
"to look foolish", "to be unprepared", etc.. Once you write this
all down - ALL OF IT- you will clear your mind and be ready to
generate productive solutions.

7. Distract yourself. Sometimes, getting your mind off the
upsetting subject is enough to calm you down. Consider closing
your door and playing computer games or something equally
mindless (but absorbing). Shifting your focus will shift your

8. Ask, "What's working about this situation?" This tip comes
from Kurt Wright's book, "Breaking the Rules", and suggests that
we all can manage stress better if we start looking at "what's
working" rather than "what's wrong". Many times, communication
breakdowns or glitches can show you where better systems need to
be created and placed and ultimately, will enhance the viability
of your organization.

9. Take an action. Sometimes, when one piece of the business
plan isn't moving, it may mean that another part is ready to be
acted upon. Rather than feeling annoyed and frustrated,
transform that energy into positive movement forward, where you

10. Make a strong request. If you would like something to be
different, start the process of making it so. Contact key
people, letting them know that you'd like to work on the
impasse, and make your needs and those of your business known.
Sometimes, just communicating about your desires in the form of
an appropriate request can move situations along.

Regular use of these tips will help you stay well balanced &
happy as your business grows and flourishes. Try them and see!

(c) 2003. Dr. Rachna D. Jain. All Rights in All Media Reserved.

Dr. Rachna D. Jain is a sales and marketing coach and Director
of Operations for Sign up for her free
email newsletter, "Sales & Marketing Secrets"> To learn more or to
contact Dr. Jain directly, please visit

This article was submitted by - Dr. Rachna D. Jain Please Rate/Review this Article - Recommend it to friends

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