How to Manage Your Emotions to Face Employee Mistakes

How to Manage Your Emotions to Face Employee Mistakes

3 Critical Actions to Manage Your Emotions Before Correcting an Employee

Every small business owner has to deal with coaching their employees. At some point, someone will need guidance or correction, but for it to be effective, it needs to come out the right way.

It's no surprise that being a business owner comes with a lot of responsibilities, and the stress can sometimes pile up —if it's not managed correctly. That can impair your ability to coach your employees the right way. Ask yourself this: when you're under pressure, how do you respond to an employees mistake? The way you manage this type of situation will directly impact how your employee responds.

Blurting out at an employee is not going to give you the results you expect. You should be able to respond rationally and mindfully rather than emotionally. Saying something like: "What were you thinking?" isn't going to do much for you or your employee —other than generate even more stress. Focus on the solution instead of the mistake. It's not so much about what they did but about how they can make it better the next time around.

How You Communicate Matters

Communicating this way can be a bit difficult if you allow your emotions to take over. Here are three tips to help get your message across the right way.

Beware of Your Instincts

Depending on the moment, your instinct might be to respond abruptly, but this can be prevented. Take a second to acknowledge the situation before you say or do anything. Take a deep breath and allow yourself a moment to respond. That will help calm you down and put you in a better-suited state of mind before talking.

Think Before You Speak

Have a conversation with yourself before taking action. What do you want to achieve with what you're about to say or do? Do you want to make your employee feel bad? Why do you? Making them think negatively about themselves will result in shame, but that won't necessarily change how they react next time.

At the end of the day, what is important is that your employee learns how to make better decisions when they face a similar situation in the future. That's what you should be focusing on.

Captive or Independent?Choose Your Words Wisely

Your words will undoubtedly have an impact on the outcome of this conversation. Avoid having conversations in the past tense. Asking "why did you do that?" or "what were you thinking?" focuses on the past, when you should be focusing on the future. Ask them something like "what would you do differently next time?" Formulating the question this way will automatically make your employees think that there is room for improvement in what they delivered. This leads them to analyze the situation and opens up space for you to guide in a much more effective way.


These suggestions can also be applied to yourself. As an entrepreneur, self-correction is essential. If you want to change the outcome of a specific situation, ask yourself, "How can I perform better next time?" instead of "What was I thinking?" You will find that your mind can find better solutions this way.