The last TobTalk before the summer took a slightly alternative route. No presentation with a speaker vs. audience arrangement, but an interactive theater performance. The theme of stress management was suddenly discussed openly.
Under a radiant sun, we gathered with about fifty Tobians in front of our headquarters in Strombeek. After a portion of delicious French fries from Stany Waffles (what’s in a name, right?), we were completely ready for our stress management session.
We did not know beforehand that we were in for a surprise ... It would not be a TobTalk as usual, where an inspiring speaker communicates his vision with the audience. Klein Barnum is a theater company specialised in professional communication through theater. They develop sketches to make situations concrete and recognisable.
Theme of the evening? Stress management: how to change your mindset? We started by investigating our own attitudes. How do we experience stress and with which colours of the Insight Discovery system does this correspond? How do these ‘personalities’ behave on good or on bad days?
We moved on to the development of a company culture to prevent stress. How can we reduce the risk? For every one of the factors of the stress safety net, we gave a score to our company. Every round of voting was preceded by a short sketch to make the issue concrete. A little exaggeration was certainly not strange to the actors, which made the issues less severe. We had a laugh, although the recognisability of some situations stimulated lots of reflection.
After determination of the stress risk, a reset was proposed. To keep work meaningful, we should, for example, not deprive others of their drive to work. We learned to put things in perspective by taking a step back from time to time. There are always alternatives. This reset was shown by a remarkably funny repetition of the same sketch in which the tone of the actors became milder every time.
Focus on success, social support, recognition, competence / ability, autonomy, assertiveness, personal well-being and physical condition are the other factors of our safety net. Autonomy and recognition scores high, compared to average. Physical condition was, to the contrary, lower than average. On the positive side, more than 70% of the audience pushed the imaginary reset button and is now ready to engage on short daily walks outside the office.
We finished our session with the promise to work on stress management, one step at a time. It was immediately put into practice by drinking a glass together in the evening sun and making more anti-stress plans together.