When a person has access to both the intuitive, creative, visual right brain and the analytical, verbal left brain, then the whole brain is working. In other words, there is a physic synergy taking place in our own head. And this tool is best suited to the reality of what life is, because life is not just logical – it is also emotional.
~ Stephen R. Covey

Don’t bring your emotions at work. You are not supposed to share your feeling at work – the workplace is a place where you complete tasks and move ahead on the professional ladder.

Have you heard this being told to you? Do you agree?

I might have believed a part of it but with time have realized that you simply cannot separate the emotional component of your being at work – a place where you are most of your lives, for many more time is spent at work as compared at home or away from work.

The new workplace is seeing the demise of the cubicles and rise of the social experience. Teams are trained to work together “socially” to know each other and camaraderie is encouraged for a productive work space. All these elements tie in to building a stronger emotional bonding.

Emotions make us who we are – Humans

And we don’t always like to work with robots right? We want them to work for us.

What are emotions?
1. A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.
2. Any of the particular feelings that characterize such a state of mind, such as joy, anger, love, hate, horror, etc
(Source Wikipedia)

Emotions most certainly have a large influence on how we react to a situation or to our decision making. Something that is integral to our lives whether personal or professional. So why deny their presence at work? Of course what seems to work for most of us is controlled emotions. Now what exactly is a controlled emotion? I think it means that don’t let your emotions control you but have a grip on your emotions and most importantly how you act/react on/to them.
You just got a really bad performance report for the quarter..first emotion is of denial, rage and “what the..”; you have a strong desire to call in our boss or romp to his office to know about the negative results. Women might cry or feel utterly depressed.. emotions would be there anyway, but knowing that you have to control them will immensely help you in foresight.

So should I vent it out to my colleagues or coworkers? Well no, people do not often want to be distracted by your emotional display. Your coworkers have work to complete and might not be interested in your wasting their time in venting out your feeling.

Alright , there’s no denying that one would not feel any emotion but now is the time train yourself that you might come across such negative emotions at some stage in your career, at your workplace but to know how to control your emotions and let them not overpower you is the key to a better tomorrow.
Ok, to be more specific.. just breathe.. try to get your mind clear of flustered feelings.. let the negative emotion pass by. In short, feel you must and can but do not react to your emotions – exactly that’s the meaning of controlled emotions.

Feel the emotions but do not vent them out when and as situation happens. Do not keep them inside you but the right way to let your feeling out is to let your manager know through a planned meeting and discuss how this terrible review was conveyed without any previous information and why it struck you as a nasty surprise.

You might also find this article relevant to what we say here: How to Deal with a Bad Performance Review

Contribute to a socially amiable workplace

A workplace is a social place, and social is kind of connected to the word “emotion”, how you feel, react or interact with your colleagues is largely controlled by your feelings or emotions. People find most satisfaction at the workplace if they get along well with other team members or the manager. Work satisfaction is not the most important criteria of satisfaction at work – people are.

I’m sure you’d appreciate a cheerful co-worker to a grumpy one, but when you do see a usually happy worker grumpy and dissatisfied contribute to a socially amiable workplace by giving time to know and a trusting medium for your colleague to vent out his/her emotions. We all need help now and then and someday it could be you on the other side of the table. And that is exactly what must be the true meaning of getting done with the cubicle and fostering camaraderie between employees. Management are you listening? We do need this social time to build better teams. Without this special element it would rather be a robot workspace!

Some examples of positive and negative emotions that we see around at our workplace, how do you categorize your emotions from this list?

Good positive emotions – joy, elation, lively, pleasant, thrilled, compassion, fascination, surprise, humorous…

Negative emotions – shouting, screaming, depressed, bored, sad, scared, disgusted, anger, annoyed, envious, panic, contempt, irritated…

Anger – A common workplace emotion

Hold on to your anger at office, it’s not the place to display negative behavior.
Have you been told so? Would you agree? Is stifling an emotion not encouraging a stronger outburst?

One of the biggest issue that you need to talk out with yourself first is how would you handle anger at workplace? It is common place and though many may suggest that curb this negative feeling, it might not be what you would want to do because anger when suppressed and not discussed can lead to larger problems in the long run. What is to be considered is up to what level of anger can be acceptable at the workplace?

By being restrictive in your display of emotions you might be unknowingly encouraging a workplace bully or simply making your life at work depressing and unhappy. Have you stood up to a manager or a co-coworker who has accused you of tardiness at tasks or other issues which you feel were unfounded? How did you react to them? Of course, anger is quite likely the first response to a false accusation and you might have felt that it could be unnecessary to display this negative emotion

Chances are that the more you are cowered down by a situation the more people can take advantage of you. You must know how to draw a line between a rude hostile emotion such as yelling, physical retaliation, banging doors or throwing stuff around. As you see from the above list that’s most certainly a no no. You can display anger by letting know the accuser that you do not accept false accusations or bullying and that his/her behavior has caused you considerable displeasure. A retaliation often excites another one so best to display your anger in a controlled way, either verbally or written.

Also note that any type of bullying or hostile behavior from your team mates or manager must be documented properly to effectively pursue this issue to higher management if required.

How do you handle emotions at workplace?

Displaying emotions is all about sensitivity to your coworkers and workplace, no one likes to be bothered with other’s pains and miseries – well of course close friends do – but in general the workplace is not your sympathy eliciting area. You’re there to get some work done – emotions are a part of you but at work they need to be controlled. So don’t display your outburst or be sulky, grumpy or overboard-ecstatic at work but show your positive personality and increase your likeability factor by making the best of human interaction at work. Go social, but with control and elegance – and yes this advice goes a long way in maintaining your online persona too! And if you feel a negative emotion coming by share it with those you trust and through the right channels but yet again .. stop that urge to act on impulse.


What has been your experience with emotions at play at your workplace? Any suggestions or thoughts? Please share in comments..