Applying Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
Manage Anger and Stress
Angry and stressful feelings are like a thief. They steal away the part of your brain that keeps you from saying things you regret later. Sometimes people experience these feelings so intensely that they become verbally abusive or physically violent. When we are overwhelmed by anger or stress, we are victims of what psychologist Daniel Goleman calls an emotional hijacking. Emotionally intelligent people are able to prevent these hijackings, or regain control when they do occur, by adapting their emotional expression to the situations in which they find themselves. They neither stifle their feelings nor release them in uncontrolled outbursts.
To Manage Anger and Stress, you need to do this:
- Use the UART script to handle angry people
- Build up your energy
Use the UART Script to Handle Angry People
When dealing with someone who is angry with you, it will be easier for you to control your own emotions if you have a plan or script to follow. The UART (pronounced like “wart”) script is an effective method for calming someone’s anger.
To eliminate it:
- Resolve the problem.
- Take a break.
Listen carefully and calmly, and get the angry person to talk about his or her feelings. Restate in your own words what you believe the angry person is trying to say. For instance, “Mrs. Johnson, you are upset because you called us twice and no one gave you a returning call. Is it right?”
Many angry people feel that they have been treated falsely. They feel less angry when they receive a sincere apology. Don’t blame others by saying things like, “Those people in shipping never answer their telephones.” It would be better to say, “Mrs. Johnson, I apologize for your wasted time. You shouldn’t have had to call twice.”
Resolve the Problem
Try to solve the problem by giving your best. If you cannot do it immediately, then atleast explain what you can do. Give the angry person your telephone number so she can call you back if there are any further problems. Most of the time, someone’s anger will have diminished by this point in the conversation. In the event that she is still angry and you are beginning to feel that your own emotions are out of control, take the next step.
Take a Break
If you think that one or more of the following is happening, it’s time to take a break:
- The emotions are becoming dangerous.
- You are about to say something you’ll regret.
- The other person is yelling or red in the face.
- What you say or do makes no difference.
- Either you or the other person is out of emotional control.
Your break can last anywhere from five minutes to twenty-four hours. You might say something like, “I would require a few minutes to check on few things. I’d like to give us both a few minutes to think this over. Can we talk again in fifteen minutes?”
Build Up Your Energy
When stress continues for a long period of time, the body burns out physically, mentally, and emotionally. Under chronic stress, it is difficult to do the work of the day, much less deal with angry associates, frustrated clients, or a demanding supervisor.
Fortunately, there are lot of great ways to combat stress like exercise and progressive relaxation. Exercise may be the ideal stress reliever. The body’s stress response is designed to gear you up to do something physical. Doing something strenuous discharges the muscular tension of the fight-or-flight response, allowing the body to relax again.
Progressive relaxation is also a time-tested, and laboratory-tested, method of relieving stress.
About Progressive relaxation:
Take twenty minutes and practice this protective relaxation technique each day for the next few weeks. You should feel more relaxed during the exercise and the long-term benefits will begin to accrue.
- Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.
- Concentrate on breathing slowly and rhythmically.
- Focus on the muscles in your lower body and begin to relax them systematically, moving from your feet to your ankles, lower legs, thighs, and hips.
- Ignore all distracting thoughts.
- Repeat this process, focusing on parts of your upper body: hands, lower arms, upper arms, shoulders, and neck.
- Relax your head muscles including jaws, cheeks, and eyebrows.
- Gradually experience a sense of calm throughout your entire body.
- Open your eyes and sit quietly for a few minutes before you get up.