For some managers, fear is a dirty little secret … they use it when they are either unwilling or unable to persuade employees to work together to achieve goals.
Fear gets results but it does so at a cost. Fear is saps enthusiasm and stifles constructive deliberation.
- Step back and work with your employee to determine performance objectives, goals, and priorities. Then, let your employee translate those objectives into tasks and determine how best to perform the task.
- Don’t interfere excessively or micromanage. Don’t insist that there’s only “one best way” to do the job. Trust employees to make the right choices to reach the end result.
- Don’t be a pushover, either. Be tough where you must be, kind where you can be. Managers can be strong without instilling fear. Be steadfast and unrelenting in your quest for getting results.
- Let the employee customize the job to reflect her strengths and weaknesses to the extent possible, without compromising the core contributions expected of her role. Allowing the maximum possible use of your employees’ motivated abilities to achieve targeted results will not only use strengths to the maximum, but also drives intrinsic job satisfaction.
- Take the time to get to know each employee’s unique set of talents. Try to dole out the available work to best match your employees’ talents.
- Share the glory. Giving others a chance to claim credit is an easy, and effective, way to get results. As Dale Carnegie wrote masterful self-help manual How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936,) be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.” Learn to overlook small mistakes, but address problems before they escalate.
Idea for Impact: There is potentially no more powerful motivator than the intrinsic satisfaction that an employee could gain from autonomy under structure, and from using one’s motivated talents. Find ways to entice commitment from your employees. Don’t force compliance by virtue of authority.