Attacking Anxiety


Imagine a Monday morning forecast call, everyone is tensed, more so those who missed the previous commits. Then your turn comes up and you go blank. There is an awkward pause in the call, no one speaks and then you blurt out something completely wrong.

Sarcasm erupts across the room, the boos gives an exasperated look, and side jokes go off in a flash. Shortly after the murmur dies down, and you think, well its over, you boss lands the punch, right in the gut with a  do it or else comment. You feel humiliated and drink some water, feel the eyes on you and pretend to not notice them.

Shit happens you think. But then it has destroyed your confidence within. And every time you face the music, the horror returns. It’s called an anxiety attack.

There is no right place for anxiety to attack. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, but some are more prone to it. Typically, it triggers under duress, snide comments, veiled threats, public presentations etc. It makes people say things they don’t mean, or forget things they know well.

Some leaders often go into meetings, especially the ones where they missed the numbers, or deadlines,  with a single-minded agenda,  find the scapegoat. Teach one a lesson and the rest will learn. Yet if this strategy was so successful, no other organization would’ve ever missed their targets ever. But here’s the flash news,  people still miss their numbers.

As leaders, it is important to realize all team members are not the same and tagging every mistake as an inefficiency could be the downfall of you and the team together. Ever heard of people leaving managers instead of organizations?

Accountability can also come with compassion, patience and a quiet talk, instead of public humiliation, side jokes and do it or else threats –  being ruthless does not mean you become insensitive. Yes, of course, it is tough, but that’s exactly why you are the leader, not them.

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