Senior directors feel twice as anxious at work

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​Senior directors feel workplace anxiety twice as much as the average UK worker, according to research by RADA in Business

A study of 1,000 workplaces found that senior directors experience workplace anxiety an average of 10 times per month. It found the biggest cause of anxiety for directors is around communicating; affecting 94% of those surveyed.

Additionally, 39% of senior directors cited networking with new business prospects and pitching as the situations where they feel most unsure. Almost a third (31%) said they are nervous their ideas will be shot down or of being talked over. The same number (31%) said they fear people thinking less of them.

The next most-affected group were those in junior positions, with 92% reporting anxiety around communicating. Within this group 45% said interviews for a new job caused them most anxiety, 36% cited presenting to colleagues or customers, and 21% moving into a senior role.

Claire Dale, a tutor at RADA in Business, said the survey highlights that those at the most senior and junior levels of a business require the most support in overcoming communication anxiety. She advised that individuals need supporting to make “small but powerful shifts in their behaviour before facing a situation that triggers communication anxiety".

“This could involve grounding themselves through changes in their body language and stance, improving their physical presence and gravitas, or controlling their breath to create greater vocal power,” she said.

She added: “Flexibility is also key – being able to flex your working style to different audiences and situations is an effective tool for those in both senior and junior positions. This helps to build confidence in the given situation, increasing their impact and influence in the workplace.”

RADA in Business is a communication training provider.

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