Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How to Stop Crying at Work


In Lois P. Frankel’s book ‘Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office – unconscious mistakes women make that sabotage their careers’ crying is mistake 101. She shares these strategies to minimise crying or at least recover professionally from it.



  • Don’t substitute tears for anger – When you feel tears well up, silently ask the question What is making me angry?


  • When you cry at work, immediately asked to be excused. Crying makes people feel uncomfortable. Make a response like “I hear what you are saying. Give me some time to think about it and I will get back to you"

Linda M. Poverny and Susan Picasia in their article ‘There is No Crying in Business’ offer the following strategies:

  • Anticipate situations where possible that may bring tears. Spend time rehearsing various responses. Practice, if you hear yourself responding to what you fear most you will lessen your anxiety and develop confidence to respond effectively.


  • Increase your self awareness. Women often cry without knowing why. Devote some energy and time to identifying your feelings more accurately. The more you are able to distinguish one feeling from the other – the more you will feel able to control your tears.


  • When you feel the sensation of crying start to build, take a deep breath and immediately ask - What exactly is making me feel this way? What do I need to resolve the situation? Re-focus on the problem. This can help clam you down.


  • When you feel the sensation of crying start to build, start focusing on the breath and your breathing. By utilising relaxation techniques, you can slow down reactions, gain control and think more clearly.


  • Create a feeling of optimism – things generally work out. Make a list of the actual and perceived issues and problems creating your feelings. Talk them out with a mentor, outside friend or executive coach. Use these people to enable you to step back and gain a broader perspective.


  • Compartmentalise, if you well up or cry easily at the office, your personal life may be intruding on your business life. Think of work as a pit stop from personal issues – give yourself permission to focus on something other than your personal life.


  • If you do find yourself starting to cry when you don’t want to, acknowledge your feelings or excuse yourself. You can say, “As you can see, I feel strongly about this. Let’s focus on how we might get along better through this tough time.” Or, if you’re feeling you can’t gain control—say, “As you can see I feel strongly about this. I’d like to take a time out and talk about it again later. I appreciate your understanding.” Then leave and book another appointment at a later time.

    Click here to read the full article ‘There is No Crying in Business’

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