Have you ever experienced a time when you thought your colleagues were talking about you behind your back? It can cause hurt, anger, and general frustration when this happens. Whenever there is an action or non-action from a colleague that generates these types of feelings, we have an opportunity to channel how we respond. This challenge is hands down one of the most difficult things you face as a manager.
Here are some examples of how you SHOULD NOT respond.

  • Have an outburst of emotions with anyone that comes into your path to the point that you cause hurt, anger, and frustration in someone else. This form of dealing with your emotions may make you feel good for the moment. However, it will not make you feel better in the long run. Sometimes it is referred to as an aggressive emotional vomit, dump, or outburst (usually with comments like, “and another thing…”) that leaves the recipient of this emotional deluge feeling drained and unable to help you.
    • Instead, try writing out the situation and how you feel about it before interacting with other colleagues. Writing will help you analyze how you think and not accidentally say something that you will ultimately have to apologize for later.
    • It may also help you realize the root cause of your hurt, frustration, etc.
  • Talk about the situation to anyone who comes along. Oversharing your thoughts and emotions about a situation that you are actively working through can cause a trail of damage along the way.
    • Instead, find a mentor or boss that understands your communication style and will listen as you work out why you are feeling the way that you are feeling. Constructively do this after you have written out the situation and identified the problem. Your boss or mentor wants to help positively and constructively and allow them to do so.
  • Storming out of the situation or lying dormant for days. At times people need to reflect on their emotions and the situation. Laying dormant for days can cause others to wonder what is wrong with you. The void of communication can start a gossip mill you did not intend to start.
    • Instead, it is best to be upfront with your colleague and let them know you need a few days to think. Then ask them if it is ok to follow up with them in person when they are available.
  • Thoughts create your feelings, and feelings can determine your actions. Remember that you are in control of your thoughts and thus in control of your actions. Get to know yourself and what kind of reactor you are to manage your approach to the situation better.