The amount of stress and frustration you experience at work as a project manager may not be your choice, but the way you choose to react to those stressful situations is within your control.
These stressful scenarios we talk about are very common in the work place whether you have set up your own business or work for a large corporation. We have all been there and experienced them at some point in our careers. A project that you put your heart and soul into gets cancelled or has most of it’s funding ad resources withdrawn, a colleague is mean to you for no reason, your favourite manager or work colleague is made redundant, you’re given more work than you can possibly cope with – the list is endless. No amount of professional experience, personal skills and specific project management training can prepare you for the massive amount of frustration involved in being a project manager. Of course, you will learn about behaviours and attitudes required for success on most project management training courses, right through from the APM Project Fundamentals course to the more advanced courses but experiencing negative situations in practise are always harder to deal with than in a theoretical situation.
Outside of your job as a PM, the way you react to these frustrations could be to have a little cry, share the problem on your favourite business blog, to eat chocolate and moan to your friend down the phone, or to shout or grumble to those closest to you. But when you have your project manager’s hat on, behaving this way simply isn’t an option. Behaving like this could seriously harm your career in many ways as it might indicate to your superiors that you can’t cope under pressure, and, as we all know, project management is a pressured environment even of the simplest, most straightforward projects, let alone the complex projects.
Frustrations and stress are common in the workplaces of today that are simply getting more and more strained. Yes there are more and more project manager jobs becoming available, but companies are under increasing pressure to compete against marketplaces that are becoming increasingly crowded. Budget cuts are occurring, redundancies, management changeovers. The world of business is facing some massive changes and strains, which are bound to affect any staff, particularly PM’s who hold such a massive amount of responsibility on their shoulders. But in these scenarios it is still important to handle yourself well, if not more important than it was before, because everything you do matters and has an effect on your future in the company.
Handling Your Emotions Better
Learning to handle your emotions better is beneficial throughout your entire life, not just your career and working life. You can have all the project management training in the world, but it won’t mean anything if you don’t have the emotional strength to handle difficult situations well.
The main focus of your attention for learning to control your emotions in the workplace should be on the negative emotions because positive emotions don’t tend to need management and are pretty great emotions to have overall.
The Top Five Negative Emotions
So watch out for the main negative emotions you are likely to feel during your role as a project manager, and learn what works best for you in managing those emotions. The top 5 negative emotions we all experience are:
- Not Liking Someone