The ability to rouse fear has forever been an essential tool of management. Fear can be an effective mobilization tool in the short term. But fear breeds complicity, not commitment.
Instead of fear-based tactics, try soft power. Build trust and gain influence using these methods.
- Develop an inspiring vision. Work hard to follow through on implementing that vision and celebrate even little accomplishments along the way.
- Communicate expectations. Ask, “How can I help you do your job better?” Follow up. No need to keep everything too close to the vest. You needn’t tell everything you know, but what you say and do has to be true.
- Solve problems quickly. Push for results. Set aside some time for review and create options or actions that are apt for your team’s situation. Be tough where you must be, kind where you can be.
Idea for Impact: Don’t take the fear approach with employees. With motivation, fear works—up to a point. Understand how your people view your leadership style and ensure your behavior doesn’t cross the line between pushing them hard and pushing them away.