Everyone has had a moment where things didn’t go their way because of outside factors that they couldn’t control. Perhaps you had a project lined up, but the other party backed out at the last minute. Maybe you thought that you had a promotion sealed, but it was denied at the last minute. Maybe you were blamed for something going wrong at work when you had nothing to do with the situation. When we get cheated, ripped off, mistreated, or misled, our natural inclination is to get angry. But when we are angry, we can make rash, irrational decisions that don’t help us out in the long run. When you’re being mistreated take the time to cool down and think rationally about what happened. Here’s what you can do.
Don’t Make A Rash Decision Out Of Anger
Have you ever felt slighted at work, and had the urge to quit right then and there? It is tempting, but without any backup plan, you could end up in an even worse situation. Don’t make decisions out of anger. They almost never turn out the way you thought they would in the moment. Instead, be committed to not making critical decisions when angry. It can be difficult to hold yourself to this, but it is key to making sure that you don’t put yourself in a bad situation long term.
After Your Emotions Cool, Think About The Situation Rationally
Once you’ve cooled off and you don’t feel the same level of anger, it is time to think about the situation rationally. That means assessing yourself as well. Were you really screwed over or did you have something to do with the outcome? If you did get a raw deal, then who was the offending party? Can you minimize the amount of time you have to deal with them? How can you make sure that you won’t be in the same situation in the future? Create a plan to make sure that you’ll reduce your odds of being in a similar situation later on.
Don’t Burn Bridges With Unrelated Parties
Sometimes when you are being cheated, ripped off or hung out to dry, you feel like going for the scorched earth policy. This can feel rewarding in the moment, getting to let off steam and tell everyone off. But in the long run, you could be alienating parties who had nothing to do with the offending behavior. And you could be burning bridges that you might need later on. Resist the urge to burn bridges with unrelated parties. Don’t make things harder for yourself than they already are! Make sure that you minimize the damage and avoid similar situations in the future. That means not having to deal with burned bridges and damaged relationships with people who weren’t even part of the incident in question. When you get mistreated, especially at work, thinking rationally and being calm is hard. But it is absolutely critical to making the right decision.
Regina Fasold is a seasoned Executive Coach and Leadership Expert. Her extensive professional background and her 10+ years of experience as a Global Executive Coach have allowed her to assist over 300 senior executives in corporations throughout the United States and in over 25 countries around the world.
* Man Behind Iceland Waterfall image credit goes to: Ross Hughes.