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Emotion... A Destructive or Constructive Force?

I am an emotional person, I get passionate about causes, about those things in which I have strong beliefs. Generally speaking I think it is good to be passionate, however sometimes those same kind of emotions can be negative.

Everybody has bad days, days when they just "got out of bed the wrong side", days when they are a little edgy. I had one of those today and probably let those emotions show just a little too much. As a manager that really is not acceptable, my bad mood should not change the way in which I interact with those around me ... or at the very least I should be the one responsible for ensuring the "grouch" doesn't show!

Some years ago a boss of mine, who I count as a friend today, sat me down and gave me some sage advice. It took a day or two for me to really internalize the message and believe it ... but he was 100% right. (Incidentally he usually was right about most things!)

Martin told me that even though I could be the life of the party, a positive influence to all around me and a breath of fresh air in the office 99% of the time ... it did not give me the right to drag people down that other 1% of the time! He went on to explain that I had the capability to totally destroy the productivity of the office when I was in a bad mood and that was never acceptable. I can remember thinking how unfair that was ... if I am "carrying the load" almost all the time, surely they can cut me some slack for the very rare time that I am down!

It took a while but he was right.

So ... what do I do now? Everyone has those days, so here are some strategies for dealing with it:

1. Understand why you are in a bad mood ... and recognize that those around you are probably not the reason!
2. If at all possible, avoid confrontation while in this mood.
3. Work on the root cause of the problem.
4. Be EXTRA sensitive to those around you, be VERY conscious of what you say and how you say it.
5. Find ways to be nice to people ... even if you don't feel like it.
6. Think positive thoughts, do positive things and don't dwell on anything negative.
7. Channel the emotion into positive things ... get passionate about winning business!
8. Be prepared to apologize to those who might have seen your "dark side" ... sometimes chocolates are appropriate!

That's the word for today ... gotta go kick somebody's a@@! Just kidding!