Why You Should Never Lose Your Temper During a Video Call

Posted By
Adam Grant

In business, no one should ever be required to have a sunny disposition each and every day – that’s just not realistic. Stressful situations frequently come up in any professional environment, thanks to shifting deadlines, differing opinions with co-workers, as well as job-related fatigue.

A person’s ability to handle these stressors in a reasonable and conscientious manner are key to thriving and succeeding at any job. Conversely, flying off the handle whenever anything goes wrong will, over time, have a negative impact on one’s career. 

Now, many of us have learned over the years how to keep our emotions in check while meeting with teammates in the boardroom. However, we are all still learning how to keep ourselves composed while participating in work-related video calls. 

Sure, virtual meetings may sometimes feel like a more casual, or free-flowing environment, professional etiquette should still be maintained. Just because you are distanced from those on the call, does not mean you should treat them with any less respect or courtesy. 

If you have found it difficult to keep cool during office video conferences, let’s talk about why you should never lose your temper during such a professional obligation: 

Bad Behaviour Will Significantly Alter How People Feel About You 

Whether you are upper management, middle management, or a staffer, losing your temper during a team meeting will do significant damage to how people feel about you. 

Sure, no one likes to ever be a pushover, but that doesn’t mean you need to go super-alpha and lose your temper in an attempt to get your point across. Doing so will make others on the call view you as confrontational and unpleasant to deal with. Some will even view you as a bully, or someone incapable of communicating effectively in the professional environment. 

When you shake peoples’ perspectives of you so incredibly, it is often hard to come back from. The stigma of being that person who ranted and raved throughout a virtual meeting will make others uncomfortable about future gatherings with you. What’s more, some of these individuals won’t think twice about reporting your questionable conduct to another manager, or to the human resources department. 

Showing Anger Sets an Awful Precedent 

Even if your temper tantrum does not prompt an immediate visceral reaction, you can bet that your outburst will indicate to others on the video call that such behaviour is the norm.

Where this becomes dangerous is when multiple virtual meeting participants feel this way and begin to raise their voice and/or aggressively push an opinion. After all, they have come to learn that this type of behaviour can be used in the meeting space without consequence. 

If not careful about policing your temper – or the temper of others – during video calls, these regular gatherings could turn into highly stressful affairs that feel more like a battle than a professional meeting of the minds.

Flying Off the Handle Shifts the Focus 

Arguably, the worst part about tempers going over the edge during team video conferences is the reality that such behaviour will shift focus away from the important matters at hand. 

Let’s say a significant project is being discussed and a handful of meeting participants viciously get into it with one another in a verbal way. All of a sudden, no one is focusing on a constructive plan for the project. Instead, they are focused on the combative behaviour and the hope it will be over soon. 

Beyond that, the staff on the call could very well soon bow to the individual who yelled the loudest, versus the one who had the best ideas. This is not the way to move a project forward.

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Adam Grant

Adam has been a professional, published writer for more than 20 years. He has experience writing about technology, business, music, news, as well as many topics in-between. When not banging away at the keyboard, Adam spins vinyl, obsesses over sports, and takes his dog on giant walks.