Crying and Other Craziness in the Workplace

If work is just business, why do people cry over it?

The answer is – we are human, not machines. Threats (real or perceived) to our security cause all KINDS of nasty and embarrassing reactions.

Once upon a time, when we did not spend entire days working on a square desk in a square cubical with no windows, our threats were more about life and death, instead of career, popularity and paycheque. We were out in the field hunting and gathering for our next meals with trusted friends and relatives. Any threats would have been handled by fighting or fleeing!

When people do or say things that threaten our security, values or purpose, it’s as though we’ve been cornered by the enemy tribe. Instinct tells us “FIGHT!” or “FLEE!” but logic tells us we’re in an office, in a cubical. The deadliest weapon our enemy can use is a stapler (because the scissors are missing in action … again).

Hormones and chemicals shut off our brains and boost our bodies to help us FIGHT or FLEE but … we have work to do. We’re stuck. We react in angry outbursts, nasty revenge tactics and … yes … sometimes crying fits.

How do you stop the crying and the craziness?

You can’t change other people. You can only change your own actions and reactions. In a perfect world, you’d have workshop on Self-Leadership for your entire team. This workshop helps team members:

  • increase credibility, effective communication and job satisfaction;
  • eliminate or reduce behaviours that make coworkers crazy; and
  • better manage their own reactions to the bad behaviours of others.

If you can’t take the workshop, you CAN still stop the craziness.

  • Make note of all the things that happen just before the crying starts.
  • If you are not the crier, you can help someone who is by going backward step by step until you figure the exact thoughts that start the emotional chain reaction.
  • Once you know what starts the emotion and you recognize the very early warning signs, it’s easier to stop the reaction before it takes over.
  • It helps to know the fears related to your core values. This will help you get in control of your natural reactions to perceived threats before they take control of you. It helps to know how to suspend your needs surrounding your core values and get the person who is making you cry on your side … plus a few other easy skills you would learn in the GetThrival! Self-Leadership workshop.

Myth: It’s good to make people cry. It toughens them up and makes them better, more focused workers.

Fact: He who makes a person cry becomes the enemy. The person who cried will “toughen up” by shutting down. A career becomes “just a job”. Innovation is replaced by resentment. Focus turns to making you look like a jerk without exposing self to more pain and humiliation. Productivity becomes variable. Research data suggests a person can only remain in a position where their core values are threatened for a maximum of two years.

  • Good news for the tyrannical manager: Eventually the emotional person will leave, either by quitting or being fired.
  • Bad news for the tyrannical manager: In the meantime the emotional person will drag the team through their drama and may even take a few coworkers with them.

One more thing. If you’re making people on your team cry, watch your back, because no one else is watching it for you.

Solution: GetThrival! Self-Leadership workshop for the whole team and Transforming Leadership for managers and supervisors


About Carol Carter

Carol is a team transformer. She cuts through the craziness and chaos of TODAY's workplace and helps leaders love their jobs again. Her live workshops and her online course "Transform Your Leadership" help people get "on track" and create REAL change that lasts, both professionally AND personally.
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