Conquering performance anxiety in the workplace

UTAR Centre for Corporate and Community Development (CCCD) organised a webinar titled “Conquer Performance Anxiety in the Workplace” on 3 September 2021 via Zoom. The webinar aimed to create awareness about performance anxiety in the workplace and equip participants with ways to overcome it using techniques from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

Soong sharing the ways to conquer performance anxieties in the workplace

Present to deliver the webinar was Chokmun Soong, a certified NLP coach and trainer at Neuro Linguistic Programming Association of Australia (NLPAA). The webinar was moderated by Faculty of Arts and Social Science lecturer Sanggari Krishnan.

The topics covered at the webinar were introduction to anxiety, common workplace anxieties, types of anxiety and its symptoms, ways to handle anxiety and approaches to conquer anxieties.  During the webinar, Soong also demonstrated one of the NLP techniques, namely the anxiety-relieving approach as an anchoring exercise to the participants.

Soong said at the beginning of the webinar, “Anxiety is not only restricted to the workplace; anxiety is present in our everyday life. But let me emphasise, some sort of stress is important for us to move, without that stress, we will probably not move, however too much of stress will cause anxiety.” 

He shared the symptoms of anxiety, “The signs and symptoms of anxiety include sweating forehead, shaking voice, dry mouth, racing heart, facial and body twitch, and many more.” “NLP has an array of techniques to handle anxiety. These techniques include anchoring, fast phobias, swish patterns, timeline and submodalities. I will be focusing on the anchoring technique,” Soong added.

Soong explained the Anchoring concept, “In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Ivan Pavlov, a Russian scientist, did some research with dogs where he was able to get them to associate eating with the ringing of a bell. After ringing the bell before feeding them a number of times, the dogs started to salivate just at the sound of the bell alone. Pavlov’s experiment also known as the Pavlov’s Dogs was called Classical Conditioning or Stimulus-Response. Anchor is a specific stimulus that brings up a particular memory and state of body and mind.”

Soong explaining anxiety-relieving approach with a demonstration

Soong concluded, “Performance anxiety, be it speaking to a group and individual or performing a task, can create unnecessary stress to self and communicate negative impressions to others. Through this sharing session, I hope the participants will learn how to quickly and effectively manage their performance anxieties with techniques from NLP so that whatever the performance is, be it speaking on stage, meeting with your boss or speaking in a meeting, you will have the confidence to do it.”

The webinar then saw an active interaction between the speaker and the participants. The talk ended with an extensive yet insightful Q&A session.

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