“Occasionally getting emotional at work is understandable, but frequent upsets can damage your reputation, and negatively impact coworker relationships and productivity,” said David King, Canadian president of Accountemps. “In frustrating situations, it helps to take a step back before you react. Approaching challenges with patience and composure demonstrates your professionalism, and can set you apart for career advancement or growth opportunities.”
Here are five scenarios that can test even the coolest head and advice for handling each with professionalism and emotional intelligence:
- The overbearing boss — Your manager keeps a close eye on you and gives you little control over projects. This can cause more stress and decreased morale and productivity. Instead of becoming frustrated, set up a private meeting with your boss to discuss ways you can build trust and gain more independence.
- The combative coworker — You and your colleague keep butting heads on a business problem. Try to consider your coworker’s perspective. Hearing another point of view may help you both resolve the dispute more quickly.
- The innocent error — As soon as you hit “send” on an email to your boss, you realize you’ve made a mistake. Instead of yelling out in frustration and distracting others, keep a level head as you address the situation. Send a follow-up note or speak with your manager to apologize and correct the issue.
- The personal emergency — Private struggles, such as a family crisis or health concerns, are bound to affect your work life at some point in your career. Consider talking to your boss — without oversharing — and request scheduling flexibility or a personal leave. Being transparent can ultimately benefit you and your employer.
- The unbearable workload — Juggling too many tasks can lead to burnout. Instead of lashing out when your manager assigns you more work, meet to prioritize and possibly delegate projects to your teammates or temporary hires.
About the Research
The surveys were developed by Accountemps and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 300 Canadian workers age 18 and older who work in an office environment, and more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.