Build Trust With Anxiety Party
Workplace relationships are increasingly becoming more transactional. Following the Covid pandemic and the widespread adoption of the work-from-anywhere policy, 65 per cent of employees report feeling less connected to their coworkers. Employee disconnection takes a toll on mental well-being, leading to subpar work quality & lower productivity.
The core reason for anxiety at work varies depending on the individual. Extra-long work hours, high stress, a lack of support from bosses and coworkers, and other circumstances might cause anxiety at work in certain people. However, the fundamental issue is usually the lack of trust. Constant concern about competency, traits, or behaviour arises from a lack of workplace connection. When people do not realize what troubles them, workplace anxiety builds up, impairing other aspects of their life.
What if there was a way to express your workplace anxiety, demystify myths & get collaborative peer feedback? Say hello to the Anxiety party!
What is an Anxiety Party?
Most people avoid discussing their issues and concerns at work. It may impact the collaborative spirit and productivity of the team.
An anxiety party is a workshop where all participants reveal their work fears, which include concerns about their behaviour and how it possibly impacts others in their team. Here are a couple of examples.
Ron is frequently interrupted by their kids at home during group Video calls. He is concerned if his peers consider him a being unprofessional.
Anita, typically critical of the work quality, is worried that their team feels a lack of acknowledgement from her.
Peers provide their assessment of whether the shared anxiety bothers them or not. It facilitates a healthy discussion where the team can either collectively demystify hypothetical myths or find a solution if the problem is real.
Conducting an Anxiety Party session relieves such emotional stress and fosters interpersonal trust. It is an opportunity to learn a lot about your coworkers and see things from their perspectives. It also helps team members read the messages and find empathy and solidarity in those experiencing similar concerns.
Following are the key goals for the activity:
Release emotional stress team members experience.
Increase the degree of trust & confidence among the team.
Identify problems or conflicts & find the best solutions.
Steps involved in running Anxiety Party
Brief the team of workplace anxieties and ask them to identify any anxiety they face. (This step might require some introspection, so it is best to allow the team to think asynchronously.)
Ask the team to write down their anxieties and submit them on a shared link accessible to all.
Once the anxieties are received, everyone should score others' anxieties based on their perspective. A standard scoring system can be a 0-5 scale, where 0 means "Didn't notice" and 5 signifies "Annoys me".
After all the anxieties are scored, pick each anxiety from the list and let everyone voice their perspective. It facilitates a healthy group discussion.
Brainstorm solutions to any concerns that received a 3 or above averaged throughout the group. Set actionable goals to remediate.
The first 3 steps can happen asynchronously and the team can plan to meet in person or on a video call for the final 2 steps.
What's the result?
→ People will experience stress alleviation when their anxiety is scored low by their colleagues. They can put their fear away as their perceived behaviour or trait doesn't bother others. You will be surprised how often people create myths head that turns into unwarranted worries.
→ With most peers rating an anxiety 3 or above, the team can brainstorm & find possible solutions to the issue. It leads to resolving hidden conflicts & and the consequence is the same as the previous one, but the impact is on the entire team.
When done consistently, the Anxiety party can release mental barriers, establish trust, and synchronize people better about their difference or conflicts.
Tool for Anxiety Party
Whether your team works remote, hybrid, or distributed, you can run an Anxiety party with ease.
Using a tool to manage & run the activity has several advantages.
Firstly, with a well-defined structure, you don't have to spend time & energy on the operational aspects of conducting the event.
Secondly, the initial scepticism of sharing anxieties is reduced with async submissions.
Finally, you can always go back to the previous instance & retrospect.
Employee engagement tools like Revvi, have pre-built templates to manage & run Anxiety Party.
It allows people to share their work anxiety and score others' submissions on a shared activity board. It facilitates asynchronous participation that offers a lot more flexibility. People can access the activity board from any device. The final discussion over all the shared anxieties & opinions can then happen in a synchronous team meeting.
Is Anxiety Party right for your team?
If you observe some of the following behaviours within the team, it might be a great idea to start with an Anxiety Party session:
Folks aren't open about discussing their troubles and worries at work.
There is a lack of trust among team members.
You observe illusionary harmony in the team's conduct.
Team objectives are often delayed due to poor collaboration
To begin with, it is recommended to run this activity monthly which can eventually be lowered to once every quarter as the team builds trust and openness.
In summary, Anxiety Party is a niche game to relieve teams of their mental worries & collaborate more effectively. It allows people to open up about their problems in a secure closed group environment, increasing transparency and trust in the team.
The ideal state teams aspire to achieve is where people can voice their concerns with each other without the worry of being judged.
THE GOAL OF THE ANXIETY PARTY HENCE, IS TO NO LONGER NEED AN ANXIETY PARTY.