The Anxiety in Work Communication

“I cant believe I did that mistake. It was so stupid, just an extra zero but it’s going to cost us big time now.” I sit back & I look up at the 70’s paneled ceiling that is beginning to be more of a mustard yellow then bright white & throw my hands back to my head. Im sweating now, I don’t typically sweat in our office that is equally as cold as Alaska but today I cant stop profusely dripping salty splotches down my head & back. As I look up its almost like my hands need to support the massive amount of stress weighing down my head. I look back down at my co-worker that is grinning slyly at me through the top of the cubical. All I can see is his head but that goofy grin & playful eyes make me somehow feel a bit better that I have someone to bounce my frustrations off. “Sucks dude, but you have to go in and just deal. Tell the Boss that you screwed up.” I look back down & ring my hands so tightly that they begin to have a pulse of their own. “I don’t know what it’s so tough. I should be able to just go right on in & talk about this issue to get insight as to how to resolve it but no damn it. I have to sit here & worry myself to death that I’m going to get the axe thrown at me & next thing you know probably be walking out of here with that cliché file box filled with a my cheesy dog photo Loraine gave me last Christmas & my Altuve bobble head.” I look at my co-worker for some kind of resolve & he just shrugs effortlessly. Easy for him to say, he didn’t make a huge accounting error like I did. “Best you can do is go in, spit it out & take it.”

Why is this process so difficult for employees? I’ve heard stories from a variety of people & not just in a work environment but generally in life about conflict & facing it full on. In the work place it can be extremely anxiety prone just because of the factors that one has to take into account. Will my Boss hate me? Will I get fired? Can I fix this error? So many questions with absolutely no way of truly knowing how the end result will be since its a person by person judgement & scenario.

So how do we resolve conflict? I think it’s more of a personal dilemma & one that each person has to face with the comfort level that they have. Some can just burst into an office say they messed up & take everything that is thrown at them with grace. Others scramble & fumble on what to say & how to say it. Then when the response is had they are constantly replaying the scenario in their head to see if they should have done anything differently. Which are you?

I sway more to the blunt character because that is just in my nature however, that does not mean that I do not get nervous about the situation. Do prepare myself for any conflict & back play the events that lead to it & start to construct a proper defense if needed & eloquent speech. Maybe go as far as research ways to prevent it from happening next time. Have a game plan going in & the burn wont sting as bad.

The after effects of the initial conversation will be different. Humility is a tough pill to swallow & not many people can take it with ease. I like this quote by Zig Ziglar, “Humility will open more doors than arrogance ever will.” That is very true. Own your mistakes & you will gain more respect for them. Protest them & they will eat you alive. From that humility will spring up new growth for a more prosperous relationship for both you & your conflict.