What emotions can take control of you

Dealing with colleagues who are not in control of their emotions

Column "Hirt on Management": Episode 113. "Out of Control."

In our “Hirt on Management” column, Michael Hirt, management expert and consultant, executive coach and keynote speaker, writes every two weeks about challenging situations and critical decisions for managers.

In an ideal business world, all people would behave sensibly, honestly, fairly and emotionally in a controlled manner.

However, we do not live in this ideal world and the chance that we will be confronted with people in business who cannot control their emotions is high.

We are talking about people whose strong emotional needs repeatedly take control of them and who then behave dysfunctionally, i.e. not according to their role.

Examples: Shouting at other people whose opinion you do not share or always see everything negatively and never give up a single new initiative or idea.

No chance without therapy

People who are not in control of their emotions or negativity are difficult cases because they cannot be brought under control themselves, except possibly through therapy or medication.

Understanding that is also the key to dealing with these people.

The key point is to realize that these people's behavior has nothing to do with us, but is driven by their own emotional needs.

If we let ourselves be impressed and influenced by the aggressive or passive-aggressive behavior of these people, perhaps because of our own insecurities, and perhaps even react to them that put ourselves in a bad light, then we have fallen into the trap.

It is typically futile to change these people, or at least in a management context the right toolbox is not available (therapy and medication).

Two sensible strategies

This leaves you with two sensible strategies that you may even combine with each other.

First, control their reactions to these people's dysfunctional behavior and react in a professional and calm manner.

Admittedly, this is difficult, but in many cases it is very effective in taking the wind out of these people's sails.

Because often the emotional reward these people get from their dysfunctional behavior is precisely that they can successfully provoke other people, unsettle them and throw them off their concept.

If that no longer works, the behavior may stop.

Second, it is important to develop a plan to have as little contact as possible with this person, to stand out through performance and results and at the same time, if politically realistic, work to get this person out of the company, or at least the position that this person can bother you out is removed.

If that doesn't work, and you can't or don't want to endure the situation, then you will have no choice but to pull the rip cord and move yourself out of this system.

the essentials in brief

The key point in dealing with people who are emotionally out of control is realizing that these people's behavior has nothing to do with us, but is driven by their own emotional needs. If you control their reactions to the dysfunctional behavior of these people and react professionally and calmly, then usually take the wind out of these people's sails. If that is not enough, avoid these people, try to remove them from the system, or leave the system yourself.

In the next column we will deal with how you as a manager start the new year in a targeted and clear manner.

Send your questions to Michael Hirt at: [email protected]
The questions are answered anonymously.

Outlook: The next column by Michael Hirt will appear on December 19, 2019 on the topic: The start of the year for managers

Here you can find the collected columns.

Michael Hirt is a management expert and consultant, executive coach, keynote speaker and book author. Hirt helps executives achieve extraordinary increases in performance and earnings, with a high impact on the success of their company. He studied in Austria, the USA (Harvard LPSF) and France (INSEAD MBA) and is active worldwide.

Guest comments and contributions from external authors do not have to correspond to the opinion of the editors.