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Emotions in the workplace

Discussion in 'Careers, Employment and Professional Development' started by Guest2, 13 Aug 2021.

  1. Guest2

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 May 2009

    Posts: 17,351

    I thought I would post this is in Careers instead of general GD as I may get more intelligent answers!

    Do you think it's a good thing to show emotions, specifically crying in the workplace?

    I have only ever seen a handful of people crying in the workplace one man and the rest women. A couple were due to family berievement which I can fully understand but the others were not.

    One woman in a meeting started crying when she had some poor feedback on a project, the feedback was true - the project was not going well but she started crying, went silent and quickly walked out. To me this shows huge weakness in a person. I've had my fair share of bad feedback, but have taken it on board and like to think i've corrected things to improve. It's just general living, not only the workplace.

    Another person started crying when talking about working at the company, what it meant to her and how she has been supported by the company. This time not crying because of bad feedback, but I still found it quite strange to let this emotion show in front of her colleagues.

    Usually people tend to cry and get angry, unable to talk or close down and go silent. All in my opinion are quite bad things to happen in a professional environment.

    I've been in numerous meetings now where things have got heated, people havent slept for almost 24 hours, are at breaking point but still need to work through problems and issues. Emotions in these times of crisis run high, but crying doesnt solve problems and makes others feel uncomfortable.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Janesy B

    Caporegime

    Joined: 19 Apr 2008

    Posts: 25,635

    Location: Essex

    Men are fantastic at suppressing emotions, big boys don't cry etc so that's why you see them cry less. One job made me cry but I did it in the toilets and blamed it on hay fever, then quit the next day.

    The woman in the meeting crying may not have liked the fact the feedback was in front of everyone and was embarrassed. I wouldn't see it as a weakness, some people just need to be handled differently.
     
  3. ttaskmaster

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2013

    Posts: 11,227

    It depends on the environment and the people.
    Some workplaces really are that toxic. Others are more about how personally invested in things people get, while other situations are mostly about how different things break different people.

    Professionalism works both ways and it's not always about suppressing your emotions, to fit in with people who are behaving in unprofessional ways to the detriment of others.
    I've seen things similar to what you describe, but what you see is usually not the whole picture. You see a woman crying over some bad feedback, but you perhaps aren't aware of how much time and effort she put into what she's achieved, or what this failure means for her career, or maybe how much crap she had to put up with along the way from the guy now casually slating her in front of everyone else.
    I daresay someone like that would normally have kicked back and given as good as she got, were it not for some ******** corporate mentality about professional conduct that means she has no other responses available to her. I've seen plenty of men break down under similar circumstances, and even been the cause of more than a few.
     
  4. throwaway4372

    Gangster

    Joined: 24 Jun 2021

    Posts: 214

    Location: UK

    People have emotions, like it or not, regardless of setting. Most people try to hide emotions at work, and that's unhealthy. Crying is more of a women thing, but it doesn't mean men aren't feeling just as sad.

    You never know if someone's sad because of work or because of other things going on in their life. I like to think we could put more effort into knowing each other better but not everyone's willing to open up. There's a lot to be said for building trust by making yourself vulnerable to others, they tend to reciprocate.

    This sounds very unhealthy. You can't just leave it like this, change is needed. Maybe some people just can't work together. Maybe there's too much workload on too few people. Maybe you need to bring in a neutral observer to help figure it out.

    Edit:
    There's also an underlying theme that too much importance is placed on career. i.e. work-to-live vs live-to-work. Particularly hard on women who naturally should be popping out sprogs but society is telling them to have careers.
     
  5. Semple

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 5 Mar 2010

    Posts: 8,719

    Crying due to bereavement is acceptable even in a workplace, frankly that's human and professionalism doesn't even come into it.

    Crying because you've been told your project sucks is unprofessional and if you can't handle the criticism/bad feedback then maybe you're in the wrong role.
     
  6. dLockers

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Jan 2010

    Posts: 7,460

    Depends how the feedback is delivered. Some people provide blunt feedback "in the interests of time" and others can't help but take it personally and react. People are human.
     
  7. Uther

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Jun 2005

    Posts: 16,581

    I've seen it twice in my working life, one when we found a work colleague dead in the office (he was a few weeks from retirement but had a heart attack at work) and the last time when Saskia Jones was murdered, that hit a lot of people badly as we knew her very well.
     
  8. montymint

    Don

    Joined: 29 Jul 2006

    Posts: 5,547

    Location: Newcastle, UK

    It all depends on the person really.

    In your example, the colleague may have cried at the initial shock (sometimes it is hard to take, especially in front of peers), however if she takes what is said on board and the work gets better then there is no problem in my eyes.
     
  9. cheesyboy

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Dec 2012

    Posts: 15,022

    Location: Gloucestershire

    I've worked in a couple of small or small-ish businesses where there were tales of the fairly-recently-retired (both cases they were gone by the time I worked there) former owner of the company making people cry on a somewhat regular basis. Men and women in tears, apparently.

    In both cases, I was struck by how ******* unprofessional the boss sounded. There were other reported incidents that fed into that feeling.

    If you're making staff cry regularly, you're not a good boss.
     
  10. 413x

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Jan 2010

    Posts: 23,188

    Location: Llaneirwg

    Depends on context.

    I certainly wouldn't like to work in a place that repressed emotive responses.

    I'd not think any less of someone if they cried for family stuff, or bad meeting.
    Having a performance review in public meeting is not great! That stuff should be 1 to 1.

    However losing one's temper is a different matter. And should not really be acceptable in a work environment.

    I remember one friend 3 jobs back lost his temper (he was very hot headed). To be fair him having a grievance was absolutely fair.


    But to shout openly in an office of 20-30 people from different divisions...


    'F this Fing job'
    Smash his keyboard and storm out of the building

    Was a bit over the top.
    To be fair. Shortly afterwards he got a small promotion! :D



    Equally I've been on the other end of a senior person giving me an inappropriate (shouting voice, lost temper) telling off from something that was said in a confidential 'this does not leave the room' meeting. He raged at me. I held it together (just).
    My boss was furious with him. As he knew nothing of it.

    After that the relationship was never the same.
    Unfortunately it was one of my colleagues who was also in the confidential meeting who told him.

    I never have trusted 'this is confidential' since.


    One of those work moments that stays with you forever.

    Let's say he was pretty unprofessional 'Alex you need to remove those data points'.. When our product looked worse on than another.
    Justification? He didn't like those data points.
    I refused. So yeah. He didn't hold much respect in my mind.

    He lost control. And as a senior employee. That is unacceptable.
     
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2021
  11. Semple

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 5 Mar 2010

    Posts: 8,719

    [​IMG]
     
  12. dLockers

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Jan 2010

    Posts: 7,460

    :cry: Yeah that's what I had in mind. A few chaps in my place who do it this way. I value it as it does indeed save time.
     
  13. RobHu

    Hitman

    Joined: 29 Jan 2008

    Posts: 672

    I used to work at a company where a big part of the job was travelling around the world to help in the production of a global sport. It was often an extremely high pressure environment so I saw more than a few mini breakdowns, often even over trivial things purely due to lack of sleep and stress. I remember once about 5 years into my tenure there, we'd arrived in Australia a few days prior and my direct manager introduced me to the new CEO + multiple very senior managers in an important meeting as having worked for him for 'a few months'. At this point over the 5 years I'd given countless hours of unpaid overtime to this company and spent literally weeks of my life sat on horrendous packed long haul flights in economy only for my boss to show me exactly how much it was all worth in a single offhand comment :D. After the meeting I had a little sob in the toilets. Funny what sleep deprivation does to the emotions.

    In hindsight it was probably a good thing as it planted the seed that eventually led me to get out of that environment which was objectively awful in many ways.
     
  14. Guest2

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 May 2009

    Posts: 17,351

    In times of crisis, workload is very high on everyone. Some people cope, others don't cope as well. I guess these are the most testing times which can make or break people careers, it certainly was with me.
    Emotions are always going to be high in hard times but i'm still not sure crying helps matters. Yes, I almost cried at work but just told myself to suck it up and get on with the job (or I may not have one in days/weeks to come!) Had I cried and ran out I may not have come back
     
  15. Ayahuasca

    Capodecina

    Joined: 23 Apr 2014

    Posts: 24,014

    Location: Huem

    How people are perceived i.e. image can be everything to some people at work, so getting called out in front of others can be shattering as it's a huge dent to their ego.

    Constructive criticism is fine as long as it's done in the appropriate setting. If feedback is particularly bad and others on the team don't need to hear it then a 1-1 setting is usually the way to go.

    I don't think it's any surprise that women are far more likely to show their emotions. It's sexist but I know I'd wrongly be more judgemental if a man cried at work than a woman (over a work-related issue), perhaps because I've only ever seen women do it.

    One of the biggest issues is companies that are run or managed by manchildren. Some of the things I've seen owners, directors and managers complain or have a go at people about is pathetic, literally school-level stuff.
     
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2021
  16. Slam62

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 3 Jan 2006

    Posts: 8,428

    Location: Monaco

    Imo no employee should be in a position where they become emotional enough to cry or get angry. It is always the reason that matters and avoiding that trigger again. This is in the best interests of the business and the individual. People need to be able to work at their best for the good of the business, any situation where someone is pushed too far is not them being at their best.
    Some people's attitudes are stuck in a bygone era unfortunately. Keep moving jobs until you find an organisation run by grown ups.
     
  17. Guest2

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 May 2009

    Posts: 17,351

    However an even bigger dent to ones ego would be getting some bad feedback or shouted at and then crying.

    A few years back, my manager was having a very stressful day and shouted at me in front of colleagues. Had I have cried as I can imagine some people would have, my colleagues would have either laughed at me and/or not said anything and just thought I was weak.
    The other alternative is answerig back which I almost did but didnt as it would have made matters worse

    Instread I went and sat down and he came over an appologised a few hours later stating about the stress he was under and shouldnt have done so in front of the whole team. I came off the good guy in the end
     
  18. Slam62

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 3 Jan 2006

    Posts: 8,428

    Location: Monaco

    I also think modern society is far too intolerant of emotions
     
  19. Ayahuasca

    Capodecina

    Joined: 23 Apr 2014

    Posts: 24,014

    Location: Huem

    Yeah but that's sort of a self-imposed ego hit, the other is usually caused by a superior's opinion of you in front of others, the above is caused by not being able to control your emotions in the moment. It's a double whammy if you get slated and then cry/lash out over it.

    The best thing to do is hold it together and have a cry in the toilet or car if you need to let it out. The other issue is HR sometimes getting involved and they deal with facts over feelings. If you're known to use emotions to try and get your own way, you're going to have a bad time.
     
  20. dowie

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: 29 Jan 2008

    Posts: 53,112

    The only time I've ever felt like crying at work was when I got news my dad had been rushed to hospital after being involved in an accident, I got up and went to the bathroom for a bit, composed myself then went to my manager and pretty much told him I had to leave.

    I've seen people get angry at work, sometimes with amusing results - one guy used to get irate when talking to particular clients, he'd put his phone on mute then swear at them as a way of venting a bit... though on occasions he'd mess up and it wouldn't be on mute, then you'd hear him apologising for it getting too heated. :D He also had to have his keyboard replaced a few times, I think he smashed his phone once too!