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Uncomfortable in Workplace Staff Meetings

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Q. Recently, the person leading our weekly staff meetings (at one time a MSW; although, not currently licensed.) began asking questions from If, questions from the game of life. They have included “Would you shave your head for $10,000?” or “What is the one thing that you would bring if you knew that you were going to be stranded on a desert island?”

I am very uncomfortable with these questions and feel that they are inappropriate in the workplace. They have no bearing on my job performance, issues within our department or anything relating to work.

I used to work in a Psychiatric hospital and led many psycho-ed groups and feel that there is much more to her questions than just “a fun ice breaker to get the meeting started.”

Some people have stated that they were embarrassed to give their “real” answer because they were afraid of being judged. I feel that we should be able to choose if we want to “share” with others, and not have it as a part of our weekly agenda. The opportunity to “pass” is not an option. Am I over-reacting? To me, these questions are too deep, too personal and not at all warranted in the workplace. Please help me, as our next meeting is just around the corner and I am dreading “todays question.”

Uncomfortable in Workplace Staff Meetings

Answered by on -

A.

Her questions are inappropriate if they make people feel uncomfortable. As you mentioned, you and several of your colleagues not only dislike the questions but “dread” the days’ question. I do not think that you are overreacting. While her intentions might have been good, it seems that her questions were unfortunately a bad idea.

The most straight forward approach would be to tell her that you do not like the questions. You could also get together with your fellow colleagues and strategize to find a kind way to approach her about stopping the questions. You might approach her with a new idea that you and your colleagues had thought of regarding how to start the meeting or you can simply tell her that you no longer feel that an “ice breaker” is needed. I hope this helps.

Uncomfortable in Workplace Staff Meetings

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Uncomfortable in Workplace Staff Meetings. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/11/17/uncomfortable-in-workplace-staff-meetings/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.