It is always interesting to see the kind of requests I receive for information through my blog – www.DecontaminateToxicPeople.com
I would be very interested to see if you have other suggestions on crying in the workplace. Personally, I think it is unacceptable and immature!
I have a young lady on staff and she is working on a large and important project but every time someone questions some of her decisions right/wrong about the project she get very emotional, which typically results in her crying.
I have discussed with her that it is okay to cry but she should step away, try to avoid it by focusing on the issue or the discussion versus her feelings. I have told her that she is an exceptional individual and a great contributor to our organization but these comments don’t seem to work. She has people who report to her and they see that when she gets in situations she cries and I am concerned it is effecting her ability to reason and make good decisions and possibly these individuals may use it against her in the future. At the moment, she typically will take the time after she cries to think it through and get to some very good options but I need her to do this during the meetings and not have to walk out because of her emotions.
I have to be honest, I am a male and not so in touch with my emotions, so I am finding this situation somewhat difficult to manage, especially since I have done a lot of what you have advised above and it is not working.
Do I just say it is okay to cry and advise the rest of the department that this is acceptable? I have thought about having a female leader in the organization try and mentor her through this situation but I am concerned that these women may not tolerate it from her because they see it as a sign of weakness and it is a bad impression of females in leadership roles…
Any help would be appreciated.
I would talk to her privately and ask her how she wants to be perceived. Make a list with her. Then ask her how she thinks she is perceived when she cries. If she wants to be perceived as a business professional, she must train herself not to cry. Typically, for women, crying is the result of poor self-confidence. She is reacting from the emotive side of her brain (the right side) and needs to train herself to think from the left side of her brain (rational, focused). Memorize a mantra such as, I love and accept myself just the way I am. Or, no matter what you say or do to me I’m still a worthwhile person. Or I’m glad I’m here, I’m glad you’re here, I care about you, I know what I know. These words, when memorized, come from the left side of the brain. Bottom line: she needs to change her “thinking” habits.
What would you recommend?