Fear is many a leader’s dirty little secret. He can use it when he’s either unwilling or unable to persuade his team to work together to achieve a specific goal.
Sure, fear gets results. However, it does so at a great cost.
Fear can be enormously helpful for spurring change, particularly during periods of acute threat. But fear can backfire under certain circumstances, especially when creativity is necessary. Using fear and intimidation as a motivator only shuts down people’s brains.
People don’t always think and act rationally when they’re afraid. Fear and anxiety make it more difficult to have their energy and enthusiasm to keep going.
A leader needs to be strong without instilling fear. Often all a leader can do to motivate people is to foster a workplace wherein people feel safe bringing themselves to work.
People can contribute, be creative, and be motivated internally. There’s no need to watch them like a hawk, micromanage excessively, track every move they make, question every decision, or enact rules that make people feel constrained and under surveillance.
Idea for Impact: Steer clear of a tyrannical management style. Use feedback and coaching to be considerate and encouraging whenever you can be, and tough when you must be.