Emotional Control at Work

coworkers emotions

Have you ever cried at work? Slammed a door? Felt your temper throbbing in anger?

Most of us have allowed emotions to creep into the workplace either because a co-worker, a boss or even a customer managed to slip past our self-control.

Emotions are what make us human. However, learning to manage them is what makes us a better communicator. We’ve all seen “that” interview go horribly wrong on a news show when the interviewee allowed the interviewer to press one of their hot buttons.

Do you know your hot buttons? It’s taken a while for me to identify mine. I can feel myself getting hot under the collar when I feel like I am being unappreciated or taken advantage of. I also feel really annoyed when I think other people don’t respect hard deadlines or the work that goes into projects.

I found myself taking a lot. Then suddenly, I blow up over something relatively small. What I’ve learned over the years is if the real issues had been addressed much earlier, I would not have allowed the situation to escalate. The feeling of being undervalued or feeling that my time wasn’t important was very real.

I’ve learned you must look for a positive. Maybe “they” dumped that project on you at the last minute because you’ve excelled all the other times. That small glimmer can help you move past the frustration. They probably didn’t do it to deliberately annoy you.

Anger is generally a mask for deeper feelings. Anger is something that builds. If you learn to recognize it early, you can address the root causes before you blow. Does your boss missing deadlines add undo stress on you? Try adjusting your due date to compensate for the problem before it occurs.

Disappointment is the emotion which effects work more than any other one. Disappointment leads to low energy, morale issues, and makes you ok with the status quo. If you are passed over for promotions or project leads, it can be hard to get excited about coming to work every day. It’s up to you to find those small glimmers that make your day better. Maybe you can learn a new skill which will show your manager you have more to contribute. Perhaps you can volunteer for an organization and gain that sense of contribution you desire.

What if you aren’t the one who is emotional? What if you are the one dealing with an emotional co-worker? Sometimes you need to let them vent and listen to what they are really saying. Don’t interrupt. Ask questions that force them to provide details and thoughts. Don’t let them interrupt you when you respond. If they can’t calm down, tell them to take a pause. Let them know the conversation can’t continue in the current manner. Take a break if necessary and address it again later.

If you are the emotional one take time to identify what it is you are feeling and why. Change your self-talk (is it really true that no one cares how it impacts you, here we go again, no one listens). Affirm your rights – you are in control of you. Walk away. Take a breath. Then be strategic about your communications. Address the real issue, offer suggestions or ask for help.

By taking the emotion down a notch, you are establishing more credibility as a professional.


The biggest lessons I’ve learned is:

  1. You get to choose how you react.
  2. Try not to react in the moment.
  3. Keep your composure. Breath slowly, maintain eye contact and disagree respectfully if you need to
  4. Excuse yourself. It’s ok to tell someone you need to take some time before you continue the discussion. Set a time to come back and address the issue at hand once you’ve had time to collect your thoughts.

Using your phone to create great images


Blogs, websites and social posts all have one attention getting feature in common.

Photos and images are what draw in readers and hopefully entice them to read the rest of your article or post. The great news is most of us have a great tool within our grasp all day long. It’s one that enables us to capture interesting, usable images with just one touch – our cell phone.

So many of us miss great photo opportunities because we are always in a hurry. Stop and take a minute to look around your surroundings. You don’t have to travel to exotic spots to get awesome images for your website. Look at all the things in your everyday life. Make a conscious effort to slow down and capture what’s there. Meals, family, shopping, local architecture – great shots are all around us and provide great content for our digital media.

Be aware of the background when you are shooting. Make sure there’s not a lot of clutter or weird light. Make sure you shoot vertical and horizontal.

Once you’ve snapped that pic, it’s time to play with cropping and editing to get just the right look. You can take a bland image and really dress it up. There are so many great easy to use photo apps just waiting for you to download. These can make editing your pictures a breeze.

Some of the best apps I’ve found are:


Photo FX

Camera +



Let’s Get Social


Utilizing social media isn’t an option these days. But taking a haphazard approach to it won’t get you the results you are aiming for. Here’s 6 tips to help you get the most out of your social content.

  1. Plan your calendar quarterly. Each quarter, think about what’s going on so that you have an editorial calendar in place. What holidays take place? Are there themed days you can utilize in your marketing (National Cookie Day, Hot Dog Day, National Photography Day)? Put it all on paper (or in your digital planner). You’ll see where this really comes into play in a few minutes.
  2. You want to create CAT content – you know the kind of content that has nine lives. The goal of social content is to engage people and have them share what you’ve created. But you’ve got to make sure it’s being seen. Make sure you tag other groups, organizations and people in your posts whenever possible. This encourages them to share content with their audience as well. You’ll be surprised to see how your reach will grow just by implementing this simple step.
  3. Create templates. Do you have reoccurring themes? A specific campaign? A desired action? Canva is a great online tool that you can use. There’s a free and professional version available depending on your situation. This helps people recognize your post as yours. They get used to seeing your messages in a certain way.
  4. Find ways you can utilize other social media trends — like “throwback Thursdays”, DIY, etc… search hashtags that have followings and see how you can utilize some of these with your business. Take advantage of trending to propel your reach.
  5. Once you’ve got ideas in place, create bulk content. The calendar of ideas we mentioned above. Go ahead and create as many posts as possible and save them. Consider it a bank of content. That way, no matter what life throws at you, you always have things ready to go.
  6. Book it! Use the tools you have available and go ahead and schedule your content. You can always alter or adjust the time if something else comes up you need to adjust. Hootsuite has both a free and paid version you can use depending on how many social channels you have in place. Some channels recommend posting as many as 5 times a day (Pinterest), others suggest 2-3 (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). Whatever you choose is right for you, make sure you utilize the analytics available to see what time of day your posts get the most exposure.

Following these 6 easy steps will help make you the queen of social content.