Everyone has experienced or witnessed a meltdown at work. Sometimes the pressures of the job or the day can build and build until something snaps. Of course, if you aren't careful, such an event can lead to someone being fired Ė something this piece over at CNN.com could help you avoid.
Communication is the most important thing. Far too many companies don't communicate and this only builds pressure, creates paranoia and can lead to meltdowns. If you are feeling pressure, let someone know.
Keep an eye on your workload, because if you are trying to do too much, you are headed for a breakdown. Just because you are overwhelmed does not mean you can't do your job, just that you are human.
Don't forget to give yourself a break. Throughout the day, everyone needs to take a moment to step away from the desk and get away from the stress.
Finally, if you offer help to others, others are more likely to offer help back. If you see a co-worker nearing that point where a meltdown seems inevitable, extend a helping hand. The hand may come back your way on the day your meter is in the red.
Most meltdowns result in tears, or tantrums. If you don't learn to control them, it's possible for them to elevate into violence. So, take the time to control your own emotions, but learn the signs of a nearing meltdown in the people around you.
Taking a few early steps to head off a breakdown can save the office a lot of tension and potential violence.