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Don’t Let Your Negative Emotions Hurt Team Morale

It’s normal to experience negative emotions at work: frustration, anger, fear. But how you handle these feelings makes all the difference for your team’s morale. Suppressing how you feel isn’t going to help anyone, and being totally open about it can backfire. The most effective strategy is reappraisal, or reassessing the upsetting situation in a more positive light. For example, if you’re frustrated that a project isn’t going well, remind yourself that there is time to turn it around and that this is just one of many initiatives your team is working on. The point isn’t to pretend the problem doesn’t exist; it’s to frame the problem as a challenge you can take steps to overcome. Reappraising can help you see, for example, that your team members are also disappointed about the project and that, instead of more criticism, they need encouragement. Try practicing reappraisal in low-stakes situations, which will prepare you to do it when the stakes are high.

Adapted from “Handling Negative Emotions in a Way that’s Good for Your Team,” by Emma Seppälä and Christina Bradley

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