WORKPLACE / JAN. 09, 2015
version 3, draft 3

How to Express Your Feelings in a Professional Way at Work

Dealing with your feelings at work is not an easy experience. However, hiding your feelings does not help you deal with situations. Keeping your feelings in check is important especially if you intend to keep the workplace professional, but some situations require you to speak up. Expressing yourself helps you resolve situations and move forward. Approaching a situation objectively, and respectfully also allows you to communicate your feelings and resolve issues without aggravating your colleagues. There are different ways you can express your feelings in the workplace without causing a scene.

Identify the Problem

Evaluate the situation and understand your feelings towards it. Make a list of things that make you feel a certain way and understand your contribution to the situation. Write down your thoughts and feelings on the situation to help you release pent up emotion and understand your feelings. It also gives you an opportunity to vent before you can confront the issue. Go through whatever you write and come up with a specific goal for the confrontation. For example, do you want your colleague to apologize or own up to his mistake?

Stay Calm

Acting on your feelings spontaneously can lead to an ugly confrontation in the workplace. Excuse yourself from a situation you feel will get out of control and return once you are calm. Keep your voice calm and low and do not let yourself get into a verbal exchange with your colleague. If he gets emotional, walk out and promise to return later. Choose your battles wisely; expressing yourself does not guarantee that you will get the response you are seeking. Decide whether to pursue the matter further or let it go once you make your feelings known.

Take a Personal Approach

Focus on the things that make you unhappy. Use statements such as, “When you come in late, I get angry because it reduces the time we spend on the project affecting our delivery. I respect the work you put into the project but if we put more time into it, we can produce better work.” Address one issue at a time to avoid looking like you are attacking your colleague.

Place blame Accordingly

Assess whether your feelings are towards your work or an individual. It will help you handle the situation accordingly and avoid rubbing your colleagues up the wrong way. It also helps you find a solution to the problem quickly. For example, do you feel the approach you are taking on a project may affect its delivery or is there a colleague deliberately delaying your progress.

Express your Feelings Privately

In case you need to confront a colleague, speak to him privately preferably when other colleagues are out, or away from the vicinity. Alternatively, if you need to discuss an issue, address your boss or supervisor privately. Ask if you can meet her over lunch when your colleagues are out or early in the morning before the office gets busy. You can ask another colleague to accompany you if you feel uncomfortable alone.

Expressing your feelings can make you uncomfortable especially when you have to confront a colleague. However, hiding your feelings can affect your productivity. Address issues as they come up and avoid taking things to heart.

 

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