Mixing feelings with work? Never! Society usually tells us to keep our work problems and home problems totally separate, which ends up making a lot of people feel like they can’t bring their feelings with them to work situations.
This is one of key reasons people often say, “I’m fine” or “Yes, I’m good” when you ask them how they are. If you’re British it’s often worse with the answer being “not bad”. With over 3,000 words in the English language to describe an emotion we seem to use only 5, 6 if you include OK!
Here’s the reality: Feelings are inevitable at work. Just like any situation in life, you’re going to experience feelings and emotions in your work environment. You can’t always act on these, but you can embrace them and know when and how you can express them. Start with these three strategies!
Go Directly to the Source
If you need to have a difficult or uncomfortable conversation with somebody, your best bet is to cut to the chase. Go directly to the source and ask to have a mature discussion. Office politics tend to confuse and exacerbate the situation, and it’s much better to involve yourself directly with someone rather than engage in gossip beforehand. Because you’re in an office environment, you can always set up a meeting with your coworker or boss to hash things out. Otherwise, if you prefer a more casual setting, ask to get coffee or go for a walk outside of work.
Be Calm and Know Your Stance
Work environments can be stressful, but don’t let that disrupt your calm disposition. Going into a discussion with a sense of calm is really important. You may be taking a bold stance, and that’s perfectly fine. But you should make sure you stay calm about it and don’t get heated. Be confident that you know what you’re doing, and don’t let that change as the conversation begins to take form.
Remember Your “Why”
At the end of the day, you and all of your coworkers are there for the same reason. You’re not trying to disrupt the structure or success of the company, nor are you trying to stir up unnecessary drama. You all have a “why” or a reason to be there. Your job is important to you, so try to remember this throughout your conversation. You’re trying to work through this and talk it out because you want to improve things, not make anything worse. Don’t forget that!
Being at your best is knowing you are in your best state, emotional state, possible. Only here can we drawn on all our amazing inner resources to face the challenge ahead.
We’ve covered three big strategies for expressing your feelings at work, but you’re not limited to these three. Every situation is different, so take some time to think about yours and create your strategy accordingly. Good luck!