You just found out the hard way that your boss or co-worker is not in a good mood today.  You really thought that your question was a very simple one, but their sharp response took you by surprise.  You did not deserve to be treated that way and are pretty stunned.  What should you do?

Do you go back to your desk feeling hurt, dejected, and angry?  No, you need to find out what is going on, but how?  You certainly do not want to put yourself in a position where you might get snapped at again, so what is the best plan of action?

Here are five things you can do to make the situation better for you and possibly your boss/co-worker.

1. Be nice. This sounds simple but if you have just been “snapped” at by your boss or co-worker it might not be.  The first important fact to realize is “you have not done anything to deserve this response” so there must be something else that is going on.  So just be nice, do not react to their sting, something is wrong in their world and you need to find if it involves you.

2. Ask them if there is anything that you have done to upset them.  By asking this simple question you not only are making them stop to examine what they have said, but also how they are behaving.

3. Listen to what they have to say.  They may be short with their answer and make sharp remarks, but try to read between the lines to figure out if you are the cause of their behavior.  You can figure this out if they do not say something that actually concerns something that you did.

4. Once you realize that there is something else going on and you are not the focal point of their mood, practice “simple acts of kindness” to him or her, realizing that this happens to every person that has ever been created and it may be you tomorrow.

5. Smile and make sure that you do not wear their mood on your shoulders.  Bad moods do have the tendency to jump from one person to another, especially in the office setting.  Keep your guard up and don’t let this happen to you or your teammates.

Go on with your day as planned doing the best that you can under the circumstances, knowing that tomorrow you may be the one who is in a bad mood and you would want people who you work with to understand and work with you.

“Understanding is a two-way street” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt