3 Workplace Situations That Cause Communications Anxiety
Many workplace situations cause communications anxiety. These situations can be everything from giving a presentation to asking your boss for a raise. When these situations arise, you may be inclined to avoid them as much as possible. However, if you want to grow in your career, you will need to lean into these situations and help yourself be more confident.
Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn where she interviewed Public Speaking Coach | Soulcast Media, Rob Razzante.
They shared tips and personal stories about several workplace situations that cause communications anxiety, and how you can manage it. This Soulcast Media | LIVE event is brought to you by our amazing sponsors at Sabobatage.
Sabobatage is a strategic tabletop game inspired by boba, also known as bubble tea or pearl milk tea. Have you or a friend ever said, ‘I wish I had a boba shop and could drink boba all day?’ Make those dreams come true with this card game that’s fun with your friends and perfect for the whole family.
1. Setting A Boundary With Your Manager
During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Jessica asked audience members to share what workplace situations gave them anxiety. One of the most popular situations was setting a boundary with your manager. Both Jessica and Rob gave several suggestions on managing your anxiety when speaking with a manager.
Consider the following:
- Clear Communication – To set a boundary, you need to communicate your boundary clearly. For example, your manager is constantly emailing you after 6 pm. However, you are done working for the day at 6 pm. You have to set a boundary with your manager, so they understand you won’t be able to respond to messages sent after 6 pm until the following day. You can say something like, “Hi Brian, I appreciate you keeping me in the loop with your emails; however, I won’t be able to respond to any emails after 6 pm. This is my family time.” Clearly communicating your boundary will help you overcome your anxiety when speaking to your manager.
- Be Consistent – Once you’ve set your boundary, you need to be consistent. For example, don’t check your email after 6 pm. You will bend the boundary and send mixed messages to your manager if you do.
- Framework – During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Rob suggested using a framework, or mantra, to remind yourself why you are setting a boundary. For example, if your manager asks you to do something after 6 pm and you have already set your 6 pm boundary, your mantra could be “family first.” When you repeat your mantra to yourself, you can have the confidence to tell your manager you have family matters to attend to at that time, but you would be happy to work on the project first thing in the morning.
Setting boundaries with your manager can be tricky. These types of conversations can make you feel very anxious. However, you will reduce your anxiety when you are clear in your communications, consistent in your actions, and living your mantra.
2. Giving Feedback
Whether you manage one person or manage 100 people, you will have to give feedback at some point. Giving someone else feedback can cause you to have anxiety. This is especially true if you need to provide a critique or criticism. However, using the Sandwich Method can help ease your anxiety when giving feedback.
- Positive Comment – When giving feedback using the Sandwich Method, you will first give a positive comment. For example, you can say, “Jane, I really loved how much energy you brought to your presentation.” In this way, you start the conversation on a positive note, which will often ease your anxiety and the person with whom you are speaking.
- Critique or Criticism – The next part of the Sandwich Method is to give your critique, criticism, or area of improvement. For example, you can say something like, “When you gave your presentation, did you notice your hand gestures? I think you can use your hands to emphasize points rather than keeping them stiff at your side.” Use the middle of the sandwich to give feedback your audience needs to hear to improve.
- Positive Comment – Ending on a positive note will help your audience leave feeling like you appreciated their efforts, and assure them you want them to improve. For example, you can say, “The audience really resonated with your personal story, especially when you used your gestures!”
Utilizing the sandwich method can help reduce your anxiety surrounding similar conversations.
3. Interview Setting
So many people get anxious when stepping into a job interview. However, there are several things you can do to reduce your communications anxiety.
Consider the following:
- Tailor Your Message – During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Jessica shared how when she works 1:1 with people looking to improve their interview skills, she tells them to tailor their message to their audience. For example, show how your capabilities benefit the other person or the company. Instead of simply focusing on your skills, explain how your skills would benefit the person interviewing you and the company itself. Tailoring your message to your audience will help you stand out.
- Preparation – Preparation is everything, especially when preparing for a job interview. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be. For example, when preparing for a job interview, research the company, find out as much as you can about the role you are interviewing for, and look up the person who will be interviewing you. The point of preparation is to get your mind thinking. Then, as the interview moves on, you can pull from the tidbits you remember and weave them into your answers.
- Personality – Don’t forget to bring your personality. Anyone can give cookie-cutter answers, but your personality is what sets you apart. During the Souclast Media | LIVE, Rob emphasized how people want to work with someone they like. Don’t be afraid to showcase your personality during an interview. This can also help reduce your anxiety as you don’t feel like you are pretending or playing a part; you are simply being you.
Job interviews can be high-anxiety. However, when you are prepared and relaxed, you can let your personality shine.
You will probably feel some communications anxiety from different workplace situations. However, developing confident communications skills will help you overcome your anxiety and increase career success.
If you want to see the full LIVE version of Jessica and Rob’s conversation, check out Jessica’s Youtube Channel.
Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways we can help you:
- Discover your communications style so you know where to start. Over 4,000 people have found theirs here.
- Attend our monthly communication workshop to build communications confidence (new topics: public speaking, advocating for yourself, building credibility, etc) here.
- Get your brand in front of 43k+ people by sponsoring our newsletter or Soulcast Media | LIVE LinkedIn events [contact: firstname.lastname@example.org]