Given that most of us are human, (I have come across a few ogres in my time), we are also prone to react badly when we are having a bad day.
Here is the thing … it is NEVER appropriate to let your poor mood affect how you act and react at work.
Yes, we are all human so we will slip up.
Yes I have been known to break this “rule” myself, which in no way makes it acceptable.
“Be careful with your words. Once they are said they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.”
“Be careful with your thoughts they may become words at any moment.”
I had a boss that I still have the highest regard for, who called me on the carpet for being in a poor mood. I argued that 98% of the time I was the life and soul of the place, surely I was allowed to be “human” upon a rare occurrence!
The answer was no!
He explained that the impact of my bad mood affected everyone around me, and that was never acceptable.
He was right, although it took me a little while to realize it!
“Mood has to be controlled. Otherwise, it’s your master.” Toba Beta
He went on to suggest ways that I cope with those days … such as “putting on my professional face” which was some of the sagest advice I ever had.
How you act at work is a part of your personal brand … which means it is how people view you. Do you want to be viewed as professional?
If you want to be viewed as a professional, even when you are having a bad day, then here are some thoughts for you.
- When at work … work!
- Learn to “put on your professional face”. Decide how you want to be seen by your colleagues and practice acting in that manner. It does not mean changing your character, just highlighting the most positive aspects.
- Develop coping mechanisms for when you are in a bad mood. It might mean restricting your time with others, it might mean avoiding some subjects or small talk, it might mean suppressing your feelings or consciously smiling.
- Take your time in reacting … be very conscious of your tone and the words that you use.
- Find things that lift your mood … whether it is pictures of your kids, feel good stories, inspirational quotes or a book of “things to be thankful for” that you create!
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” Helen Keller
It is in your own best interests to be viewed as a professional and someone that is consistent in their work and in the interactions that you have. Nobody enjoys unpredictability in their work colleagues.
Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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