It definitely holds true that every once in a while bursting into tears at the office happens. Whether it’s happened to you or your best work buddy – it can get awkward real quickly. From frustrating team decisions to getting in an altercation with a supervisor, from time to time, emotions run high in the workplace. So how do you handle it without letting your emotions get the best of you? Staying calm, cool and collected in even the tensest situations is one of the best ways to show your high level of professionalism, gain respect and send the message that you can’t be rocked. Become known as the mainstay of the team with these tips for how to be less emotional at the office.

When things get tense, STOP and take a deep breath. Often, our initial response to a heated discussion at work is to immediately react, which only drives emotions and tempers to a higher level. Rather than taking a reactionary approach, be the calm one in the room by simply stopping and listening to the discussion. If you have to, count to ten in your mind, look at the ceiling, out the window or even close your eyes for a moment or two. Wait for everything you feel to settle down before putting your thoughts out there.

Go outside and get some fresh air. Sometimes the worst of the emotions hit when you receive an email that leaves you ready to respond with something unsavory or snippy. Just like an in-person encounter, emotional reactions to emails can run high and taking a deep breath before you respond is essential. The good news is you can wait to respond for as long as you need, so get up, go outside and take a walk. Think carefully about your response and choose words that leave emotion out of the equation.

Learn to separate the business from the personal. This is a tough one, but it’s important for getting the job done right. Remember, you and your team are there to work. You’ve been tasked with a project and it’s your job to complete it to the best of your ability. If someone doesn’t like the outcome or the process, no worries – it’s not a personal affront against you – it’s all business. Rather than getting tied up in your reaction when you feel your emotions escalating, give yourself a friendly reminder: business is business.

Draw a line with employees. Many times emotions will run high with the employees that report to you – and it’s your job to nip that behavior before it gets out of control. Rather than coddling emotional employees, make your intentions clear: it’s to get the job done and get it done well. Sometimes this means separating your personal life and your professional life – and keeping your own personal details to a minimum. If that’s what it takes, roll with it.

Have fun. Remember this: you should enjoy your job and let your talents and passions shine through without getting too attached. In the end, all businesses are there to make money and sometimes that means someone else’s idea or another solution is the best one. Rather than getting tied up in an emotional response, remember – if the business succeeds, so do you. And, at the core of that means you enjoy your job and the people you work with.

Do you have trouble with keeping your emotions in check at work? How do you reel it in when you need to?

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