December 4 2015

There’s no crying at work! (actually..there is) By Andrea Seib


It’s the most wonderful time of the year…it’s all the time of year end reviews, bonus and salary discussions, and many other, well frankly, tear producing events at work…

We’ve all been there. You’re mid conversation with a co-worker or your boss and suddenly a lump rises in your throat and tears well in your eyes. What do you do?!

Maybe your dog died, your boyfriend broke up with you or you’re just so darn tired and stressed out that you can’t think straight. No matter what personal sadness is disrupting your work life, it’s important for you to take a minute to step away and collect yourself.

cryinggiphyWhy is crying at work such a bad thing? The truth is sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.

If you are crying multiple times a week there’s likely an underlying problem. A major personal crisis is a different story.

Unfortunately crying at work fares worse for a woman.

When a woman cries at work she may be viewed (particularly by male coworkers) as weak or unable to handle the stress of a business environment. Coworkers may also feel uncomfortable being on the receiving end of the tears. This doesn’t help you get that promotion.

Sylvia Ann Hewlett, author of Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success, summed up this issue when she stated: “Senior leaders consistently report that crying detracts from one’s executive presence, which rests on three pillars: gravitas (how you act), communication (how you speak) and appearance (how you look). Crying, I found in my research, is just one of a menu of communication blunders that, in a mere instant, can suck the executive presence right out of you.”


So how do you move beyond that ugly crying moment?

1. Get out of your environment

Get outside! Fresh air combined with walking can help you see the big picture and think clearly. Find a sidewalk, coffee shop or even a parking lot to clear your mind. If time is limited, duck into the bathroom if you must. Just make sure you can momentarily get it out of your system so that you can return to your duties.

2. Listen to some music

Turn on some feel-good tunes. Pair it with your favorite coffee or tea and you may feel like a whole new person.

3. Phone it in

We all have that one family member or friend that instantly makes us feel better. It might just be a call or text but sometimes it’s the littlest thing that can change your mood.

4. Acknowledge it and move on

Don’t pretend it didn’t happen. Follow up with your co-worker or boss in person or via email if necessary and explain what brought on the tears and that you have moved on. This show of confidence can ease his or her concerns that you might not be in full control.

What tricks have you used to move past an emotional moment?

andrea photoHi everyone! My name is Andrea. I have recently left my advertising career to help inspire women like you to feel confident to lead in any situation. My one-year-old daughter and my own experience earlier in my career drove this decision. I’m an Indiana University graduate and love all things food and travel.

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