Trouver la bonne émotion pour transformer la portée de l’anxiété de performance …

Dans son édition du 28 décembre dernier, le magazine Medical News Today proposait un article intitulé Work with anxiety’ rather than seek calm to improve performance. Les résultats d’une recherche conduite par la professeure Alison Wood Brooks de  la Havard Business School soulignent que l’anxiété de performance est plus utile pour l’individu lorsqu’elle vous permet de vous mobiliser que de vous calmer. C’est notamment le cas pour des situations d’anxiété liée à parler ou à chanter en public ou alors de réussir des problèmes de mathématiques. La professeure a invité les participants de l’étude à tout simplement dire la phrase suivante « Je suis très heureux ! » chaque vois qu’ils se trouvaient en situation d’anxiété de performance. Trois démarches furent réalisées. D’abord, une démarche réalisé avec 113 étudiants consistait à les invité à chanter  de karaoké sur une console Nintendo Wii du jeu vidéo  en utilisant le  « Karaoke Revolution : Glee ». Une deuxième consistait à demander à 140 étudiants de préparer un discours en deux minutes sur la question « Pourquoi êtes-vous un bon partenaire de travail ? » et ensuite d’adresser publiquement leur réponse. Une troisième étude, cette fois auprès de 188 élèves consistait à leur demander de résoudre un problème mathématique difficile sous pression de temps. Au moment où ils allaient ressentir de l’anxiété, des sous-groupes de participants au sein des trois études étaient invités à dire « Je suis très heureux », d’autre « Je suis très enthousiasme » et enfin d’autres « Je suis calme ». Pour la chercheure, la manière dont nous parlons de nos sentiments a une forte influence sur la façon dont nous pensons réellement. Et puisque l’anxiété de performance est un état plus près de l’excitation que du calme, il est plus facile pour la personne de concevoir positivement sa situation par l’idée d’être très heureuse que très calme. L’idée derrière la démarche de la chercheure est de déplacer un état d’anxiété initialement négatif vers un état plus positif possédant le plus que possible les ingrédients réels de l’expérience.
 
Et pour l’orientation professionnelle et le développement de carrière ?
Bien, puisque des situations de doutes, de confusion ou de difficultés par rapport à son devenir ou à son présent scolaire ou professionnel, ce sont là des situations à haute teneur anxiogène. Donc, il y aurait lieu ici de tirer profit des découvertes de la chercheure non pas pour les appliquer directement, mais pour en dégager les principes sous-jacents à la réussite de sa démarche. En clair, ce que Woods Brooks propose est de « tirer profit de la situation en lui accolant une émotion constructive et positive ». Cela demande au conseiller de travailler avec son client à chercher en quelque sorte « le bon » à l’intérieur de différentes situation et d’en constituer un message-phare pour la mise en place d’une stratégie d’intervention cognitive-comportementale où la personne se dira telle ou telle expression lorsque telle ou telle situation d’anxiété se présentera. Par exemple, quelle émotion pourrait caractériser initialement le fait « d’être tout mêlé ! » comme nous le nomme souvent nos clients ? Peut-être que pour certains il est possible d’en comprendre que la personne est toute « mobilisée », « activée », « stimulée » à trouver une réponse à ses interrogations ? Ce n’est là qu’une idée générale n’ayant pas la personne devant moi, mais je pense que vous comprendrez ici le principe. Le plus importante toutefois si vous pensez essayer l’application d’une telle stratégie d’intervention, c’est comme toujours le fait que ce n’est pas de « faire » l’activité qui constitue l’intervention véritable, mais plutôt la « qualité du retour » qui est réalisé par le conseiller avec son client à la suite de la réalisation de celle-ci.
Louis Cournoyer, Ph.D., c.o.
Professeur – Counseling de carrière

Université du Québec à Montréal

 
A propos de Louis Cournoyer 215 Articles
Professeur-chercheur (Counseling de carrière) / Directeur de la Clinique Carrière / Directeur des programmes de premier cycle en développement de carrière / Conseiller d'orientation et superviseur clinique Université du Québec à Montréal

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