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  • Writer's pictureJ.Yuhas

How Emotional Regulation Can Save Your Workplace Relationships

It can be challenging to keep our emotions in check at the office, especially when they are running high out of frustration. The heightened emotional energy can feel intensely overwhelming, making it hard to think logically in the best interest of the business.

It's super crucial to learn how to manage our emotions, especially if we want to sustain professional relationships with our clients and colleagues. By simply regulating our emotional state, we can prevent a microscopic problem from getting out of hand and damaging the relationship altogether.

While emotions aren’t facts, they often come from one’s belief system which means the client may not understand your perspective or you may not understand their viewpoint. Even though emotions may be very real in the hot seat, they won’t necessarily be understood or received well by others because they are based a person’s experience and less likely mutually beneficial to the relationship.

There are a few things we can do to help regulate our emotions with grace. This will allow you to remain calm and collected during times of distress so you can articulate what it is you need to happen to move forward within an agreement. The more you can logically express your needs, the better chance you have of finding a win-win outcome.

1. HavIng Awareness Of Triggers

One of the most important things you can do for your emotional health is to become aware of your triggers. A trigger is anything—a person, place, thing, or situation—that sets off a negative emotional response. This trigger has usually evolved from past childhood experiences or past relationship wounds that are currently playing out repeatedly because they haven’t been fully healed. Triggers that aren’t healed can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies of false expectations displaced onto the connection until it becomes true. This is a form of self-sabotage and can be unconscious.

For some people, triggers can be relatively harmless, like someone who is constantly running late for meetings. For others, triggers can be more serious, like short deadlines that lead to extreme anxiousness. Or, if you had a colleague or client betray your trust in the past, it can make it hard for you to trust other professionals today. The key to managing triggers is to identify them and then develop a plan for how to deal with them when they occur.

2. Managing Triggers

Everyone experiences emotions, but for some people, emotions can be overwhelming. When emotions become too strong, they can be triggering. For someone with anxiety or a desire for control, triggers can cause feelings of panic, fear, or helplessness. While it is not always possible to avoid triggers altogether, there are some things you can do to manage them.

By learning to identify your triggers and developing coping strategies, you can reduce the power that they have over you. Once you know what sets off your emotions, you can begin to take action ahead to be proactive. If you know you will be in a situation where you might be exposed to a trigger, take some time to think about how you will cope.

It might help to practice deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, or journaling for five minutes a day. These techniques can help to calm your emotions and give you a sense of control. If you find yourself in a situation where you are feeling overwhelmed by emotions, it is important to remember that you can get through it. Take some deep breaths and focus on the present moment, not the past or a futuristic outcome. We only have the power to control what is right in front of us.

3. Knowing Your Values

Knowing your values is an essential part of leading a fulfilling and meaningful life. Not only do your values help you make important decisions as you navigate through different situations with clients or colleagues, but they can also help you better understand your emotions and triggers to various events. Your values meet your emotional needs on a deeper level.

Whether it's communication, trust, time management, growth mindset, or transparency, knowing your values can help you get your emotional needs met effectively. By staying true to these values, you can live each day knowing that you are living in accordance with what matters most to you. If we don’t hold high regard and integrity to our values, it can make it challenging to ask others to meet us according to our values.

When a trigger pops up having the ability to connect it to one of your values, can allow you to logically express to a client or colleague what you feel is missing at that moment. For example, if your client tends to shut down when you’re asking for accountability, then ignoring you may trigger a deeper rejection wound from the past. Letting your client know that you value communication and would like to better understand their perspective of the situation, while also expressing yours, and help reduce the occurrence of stonewalling. However, if you find yourself lashing out at a client or colleague when they trigger you, then tends to only make the conflict worse. This can potentially result in a loss of revenue or ruin your reputation altogether.

4. Following The 3Cs Of Communication

The 3Cs of communication allows you to express yourself constructively in an orderly manner to get your needs my by a client or colleague.

Calm - Keeping a calm tone of voice can let others physically hear what you’re saying. If you find yourself raising your voice or yelling, this tends to make people tune out. Calmness is also a sign of confidence, whereas screaming is a sign of insecurity. Composure is essential in maintaining long-lasting clients.

Concise - Being brief and to the point makes it easier to be heard and understood by others. The less emotional we are when trying to resolve the problem, the quicker it can be resolved and a solution put into place. Long-winded rants of emotional emails or phone calls tend to turn others off and it goes in one ear and out the other. This can also make your client feel disrespected.

Constructive - Approaching the problem with positivity and compassion can allow for each partner to find a win-win outcome. If the problem is approached with heightened emotion or negativity, this most likely won’t result in an outcome you desire. Take the lead and strive forward with resilience, determination, and understanding.

5. Setting Boundaries

When it comes to managing emotions, setting boundaries is the simplest way to prevent triggers from happening again. Understanding our emotions is key to being able to set healthy boundaries and respond in healthy ways when faced with emotional triggers. By practicing self-awareness, emotional regulation, seeking external support when necessary, and making conscious choices about how we respond to emotions, we can become better equipped to manage our emotions in a way that is authentic to who we are.

Boundaries are set using your value system so your client or colleague can logically understand your emotions and know how to meet your needs. Healthy boundaries are part of respectful relationships and whether you’ve been in your industry just a few months or for over twenty years, they are essential to success.

If you and your colleagues or clients are in a continuous cycle of triggering each other, let’s chat! It’s time to rescue the relationship before it’s too late.


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