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The emotional barometer

Women, whether career women or not, have been closely associated with emotions. Ironically it is this emotional side of a woman that is a double-edged sword. On one hand, we women pride ourselves for our sensitivity, on the other hand we experience the most intense pain when our emotions let us down.

This emotional side of you, sometimes stops you from doing what you want to do, or lead you into actions that you later regret or prevent you from being the kind of person you would like to be.

At the office, a woman employee who is in the habit of giving vent to her emotions, however talented, will find herself at a distinct disadvantage.

Listed below are two examples of woman employees.

One woman, allowed her emotions overcome her and let it affect her performance on the job. While the other has learnt to handle her emotions constructively to help her be more effective at the job.

1.)I know of a highly skilled woman employee who was the object of office humor due to her habit of giving vent to her emotions openly in the office. Her colleagues were vary of their dealings with her, as they never knew when any of their statements could offend her. Everyone including the boss used to be extra cautious while relating to her in the office. This in the long run, created an image of her being less of a professional and affected her ability to get along with others in the office. She also lost her promotion to another colleague who was seen as more emotionally balanced.

2.) Mrs. Latha was a qualified Account's professional, who had quit her previous employment to look after her child. When her husband passed away she resumed working. One of her office colleagues who was many years senior to her, resented her very much. He was not as highly qualified as her and had reached the grade due to his 10-year experience in the same firm. He resented a woman, half his age being given the same position as himself and used to find various methods to undermine her at the job. Knowing her weakness, he would always try to play up on her emotional side. He would put a lot of pressure on her, hoping that she would break down emotionally.

In the initial stages Latha was just getting used to the work environment and balancing her home responsibilities. During this phase her fragile emotions fresh with the grief of the passing away of her husband used to give her away occasionally.

But fortunately for Latha, she soon realised what her colleague was up to. She decided to rise up the challenge. She decided that it was time, to take charge of her feelings and learn to exercise control both on the quality and intensity of her emotions. She decided to follow a systematic regime of being in control of her emotions. Here, she shares the story with us:

I made a personal vow to be in control of my emotions at the office. I realised that every time I breakdown at the office, I would be reinforcing the view that I am not yet ready to handle the professional duties assigned to me. Thus it was a question of learning to control my emotions or let them harm my professional life. On the other hand when I came home, I would give vent to my feelings freely.

I started maintaining a DIARY. I used to write down my thoughts and experiences. This was my personal sounding board. While writing, I would openly confront the day's events. I would let my hair down and face my emotional side realistically.

I refused to bottle my emotions by being aware of the source of my pain and feeling free to express them in a safe manner. I developed an open and close relationship with my friend. She was a big support to me and helped me emotionally accept the loss of my husband.I would openly discuss with her all my painful experiences and give vent to my emotions freely. I had unconsciously built a safe environment for myself outside the walls of the office where I could take time to heal my emotional wounds in a natural manner.

I made an effort to display more of positive emotions at the office like starting the day with a smile. I refused to let people view me as a victim of life. I decided that I would rather be seen as someone who reflects the joys of life.

I stopped seeing myself as the victim which my colleague perceived myself to be. Soon I realised that my colleague was the victim of his own insecurities and not me. It then became much easier for me to control my emotions while dealing with him. This helped me to handle all his attempts to put me down in a realistic manner.

I rediscovered my strengths and myself. Every successful interaction with my colleague and others made me rediscover my innate strengths, which were hidden when I was a housewife. Now, every interaction is a source of joy for me and I once again look forward to meeting people.

Today, as I am sitting at my office, I take a look at my colleague next to me. I whisper a silent thank you to him. For he, without his own knowledge has helped me become a stronger person today. He has made me realise the truth of making my emotions my strength rather than my weakness.

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