The 5-Step Process to Keep Your Emotions in Check

When business, money, or love is involved, emotions can rule your interactions. This obviously can cause the conversation to take a bad turn quickly.  Personally, as someone who is not incredibly sociable, I always struggled with responding to difficult business questions; both in email and in person because I often felt put on the spot. Instincts are to defend yourself while still being tactful which can be incredibly tough to do. It is best to provide context and a succinct answer that will help put the person in your shoes. Tell me something I don’t know, right?

Well, my mentor helped me with this simple process to follow that helps me respond with confidence and ease and I think it will help you too.

If you feel uncomfortable and are searching for the best way to respond without feeling defensive, first take a deep breath, and remember the SHARE acronym.

S – Situation
H – Hindrance
A – Action
R – Results
E – Evaluate


Give the facts regarding the background of the situation  Include an overview and if there are pertinent details and timeline.


Explain the problem.


Talk about the action that you took to solve the problem


Your end result after taking action.


Bring it full circle.

Now let’s break this down into an example.

First, here is a typical tough interaction:
Boss: “Are you trying to tell me you just lost $10,000 on this order?”
Employee: “Do you trust me at all? I only make choices that are right for this company! I had to do it to save a customer so they would purchase again!”
Boss: “I don’t trust you if you are going to lose $10,000!”

Emotions are tough to overcome, especially when the question can feel like an attack on your decisions or ethics.

Now let’s check out what this looks like when the employee remembers to keep their emotions in check:

Boss: “Are you trying to tell me you just lost $10,000 on this order?”
Employee: “I understand the issue and here’s the situation. We made a sale to this customer a few months ago– we sold them 100 widgets. These widgets were top of the line– $1,000 each! Well there was a bad batch from the factory and 10% broke at about 45 days. They understood that sometimes things happen, but unfortunately the main hindrance was that the manufacturer only covered the widgets for 30 days. I decided to take action here and authorize the team to process their replacements at no charge even though they were out of warranty. As a result, their parent company is so please with us that they are working on a purchase for 1,000 more widgets! I know that you see this charge coming through as losing $10,000 but upon evaluation I am confident I made the correct choice here.”
Boss: “That makes sense. Thanks for the information. Next time just get me to sign off on it, I know that you know what you are doing.”

Now that was smooth. Even using the SHARE words in the response can help to stay on task and succinct when responding. It was a nice way to summarize and provide a clear answer.

Keep this in mind the next time you want to shoot back a short email and see if it helps keep you on track.

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Quigley Management Consulting LLC (c) 2018


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