In the Face of Setbacks: 4 Ways to Handle Emotions like Hillary Clinton

Personal Effectiveness 29th December 2016 Workbetter Team

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You were due for an appraisal and expected a salary jump, but it didn’t happen. You were hoping to work on a project, but weren’t given it. In fact, you were doing extremely well, but slyly a colleague takes all the credit and you got sidelined. These are a few examples of setback you may face at work, but how should you respond? Do you battle your differences? We hope not. All you’ve got to do is handle emotions maturely and not let inner turmoil weigh you down. One perfect example to learn on how you can do that is Hillary Clinton. She may have lost in the US presidential elections, but never in the face of her defeat did she pick mudslinging over accepting her defeat with dignity. Let’s look at what she did right and learn a few ways to handle emotions.

Collaborate despite wins and losses

In her concession speech post the elections, although Hillary did say that she was feeling as disappointed as her supporters and that it is painful, what made her stand out as a gracious loser was the fact that she didn’t rebuke Trump for his victory. In fact, she said, “Donald Trump is going to be our president; I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.” This speaks a lot about her acceptance of a setback yet calls for unity with her opponent.

Related: Ways to Foster a Collaborative Environment at Work

Never stop believing

If you don’t manage your emotions well, it triggers you to either feel embarrassed of not having done well or push you to do your best and set an example for your colleagues to see. In this regard again, Hillary in the same speech addressing young women and girls said, “Many of you are embarking on your careers and you will have setbacks too. But please, never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth it. It is, it is worth it.”

Related: Confident Body Language: 4 Things President Obama Can Teach You

Handling emotions happens gradually and doesn’t make you ‘unemotional’

Another important thing to learn is that don’t expect to ace handling emotions overnight. You will break down and may want to cry or scream or shout or snap. It’s alright. What’s not alright is not acknowledging your weakness. It is important for you to work on not being so volatile. In September 2016, when Brandon Stanton from the Humans of New York spoke to Hillary, she narrated an event from when she was taking a law entrance exam at Harvard. In the examination hall, a group of men kept saying nasty things to her, but she didn’t react. She says, “I know that I can be perceived as aloof or cold or unemotional. But I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions.” She adds that her friends and family know that the unemotional side to her is only a perception.

Related: 6 Communication Lessons for Leaders from Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton

Walk out. Take a break

If you can’t clear your head, then just step out of office. Sip a cup of tea, call someone you can confide your emotions in or do something that calms you down. If you let stress grow on you, you will snap and may inadvertently say or do hurtful things at work which you may repent. 48 hours post her loss to Trump, Hillary returned to her home in New York and bumped into a hiker who posted about her chance meeting with Bill and Hillary in the forest. They were out there doing what any other person would do. You don’t need to obsess yourself with what didn’t go well for you. You ought to unwind in difficult times.

Related: 7 Tips to Deal with Stress at Work

We are sure you have learnt one too many lessons in whatever be the span of career. You don’t have to always make an exhibit of what’s going on in the inside and mind you that doesn’t make you stone-hearted too. All you got to do is know of smooth ways to handle emotions and not seem overpowered by them.


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