Emotions by osmosis. That’s one way to describe the impact of our emotions on our co-workers. Like it or not each of us affect atmosphere. Feeling strong feelings at work about a work situation or a personal situation is not a comfortable feeling. Even with the new realm of remote work, there is still a heavy line of demarcation drawn between expected behavior at work and what is permitted in other social situations. Despite our best efforts most of us express our emotions in the workplace at one point or another. Many times, demonstrating emotions is strongly frowned upon in workplaces, and honestly, that’s unrealistic. There are a lot of robots working for Amazon, but the rest of us are flesh and blood and we feel things. Thankfully, HR is in an advantageous position because when we prepare proper responses to people’s emotional struggles, we normalize the expression of them. First, we need to recognize the depth of an employee’s feelings (which only he/she can measure) and ask the employee to share what’s going on. Second, ask the employee to share the greatest pain point. Third, let the employee’s issue hold center stage. Don’t compare its degree of seriousness with anything else – any example from your own experiences or experiences of others. As humans each of us are already convinced that our concerns take precedence. This is not to say that as HR leaders we should promote self-absorbed behavior that perpetuates a lack of concern for teammates. Certainly, the steps outlined are an approach that can be utilized, albeit with boundaries. This truth is affirmed with the fourth and final step, which is to ask the employee what they require to move forward. This approach to helping employees who exhibit emotions at work is about diving deep with the expectation that the dive will require the employee to surface for air.