Directors 'twice as likely' to experience performance anxiety

by PM Today Staff / 1/11/2018 12:15:42 PM

Despite their extra experience and authority, employees in senior positions are more prone to experiencing workplace performance anxiety than any other role, new research shows.

A study of 1,000 workplaces conducted by RADA in Businessthe commercial subsidiary of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art that provides communication skills training for corporate individuals, found that senior directors feel workplace anxiety an average of 10 times per month – twice the national average across the total UK workforce.

The report found that the highest rates of anxiety for directors are around communicating, affecting 94% of those surveyed.

Some 39% of senior directors cite networking with new business prospects and pitching as the situations where they feel the most unsure about their performance. Furthermore, almost a third (31%) say they are nervous of their ideas being shot down or being talked over, while a similar number (31%) say they are fearful of people thinking less of them.

The next most-affected group was those in junior positions, with 92% reporting the effects of anxiety around communicating. With most people expressing the pressure to make an impact - whether being interviewed for a new job, moving into a more senior role, or presenting to colleagues or customers – as the main situations that bring on anxious feelings the most.

In response to the widespread issue of workplace performance anxiety, RADA in Business has been working with leading UK companies to transfer dramatic techniques, such as play and improvisation, from a theatrical setting to a business environment.

Claire Dale, Tutor at RADA in Business, commented on the findings: “Businesses looking to direct training towards tackling stage fright and feelings of anxiety when communicating in the workplace should focus first on the lowest and highest levels within their organisations."

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