Emotion Management

None of us has the luxury of doing one thing at a time, and it is very easy to allow the emotions attached to one activity to spill over into another. If a big deal has just fallen through, it is hard not to convey some feeling of disappointment to the next person you talk to. Or if you are feeling particularly harassed, impatience or irritation can often creep into a phone call or meeting.
Compartmentalizing, leaving the emotions of a particular situation locked within the confines of that situation, is one of those things that is easy to advise and very hard to do. I have found that a partial solution is to compartmentalize my day and week functionally–answering letters in the morning, returning phone calls in the afternoon, limiting meetings to particular meeting days, and so on.
It is also important to force yourself to act rather than to react to situations. For example, I rarely take calls, but I always return them. You are much less likely to snap at someone on the phone if you are initiating the phone call than if you are being interrupted by it.
In the end, compartmentalizing is mostly a conscious process of putting someone emotional distance between yourself and the situation.
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