Tips for sharing frustrations in Friday

As a rule of thumb start by using Friday to express simple frustrations – at least until you and your team become pros at listening and responding to rawer emotions.

Sources of frustration at work vary in their complexity and difficulty to solve. Happiness at work often comes down to removing two sorts of frustrations:

  • Small things which when repeated or when added together create a sense of frustration. They can be removed with a plan and a bit of dedicated effort.
  • Systemic things which structure ways of doing things that cause frustration. These are typically more complex and take longer to influence – but it can be done.

Based on our experience of introducing Friday to organizations, you can expect lots of little, frustrations to surface, which annoy people several times a week and which have built up over time. Now that Friday gives you a platform to share and talk about them together, you can set about removing them from your day-to-day work.

Try a simple “When X happened / happens, I feel frustrated”.

As you get braver and better at dealing with frustrations, you will have to make some decisions about whether to share how you are feeling. This is a useful checklist for sharing frustrations with colleagues:

  • Are you hopeful the cause of your frustration is within the control of the team?
  • Are you comfortable ‘owning’ your frustration – “I feel frustrated when …”?
  • Do you have some sense the team will be able to help in some way?

If you can’t tick the three things above – or you need help figuring out any of the above, then it’s probably better to discuss your frustration with a manager or a friend first. Try contextualizing how you feel with something like “I can’t figure out why I feel so frustrated but I think it has something to do with…”, “I seem to feel this way when… but I can’t work out exactly what is bothering me”, or “when this happens, it drives me crazy but I need a helpful way of sharing this…”.

Through conversation you will probably work out how to express your frustration calmly and constructively and you will gather some ideas about how to ask others for help to reduce it.