Fear of What?

A few to consider (for a leadership blog):

Fear of asking for something
Fear of saying something ‘wrong”
Fear of taking the initiative to accomplish something
Fear of taking the initiative to solve a problem

Where does this fear come from?
Childhood (peers/parents and other relatives/teachers)
Adulthood (peers/bosses/memories)

I’ll focus on bosses:

Leaders want employees who can problem solve, will communicate openly (without fear), accept responsibility, accomplish tasks/assignments, who are trustworthy, and act responsibly.

“Bosses”, on the other hand, create situations that cause fear and uneasiness in those that report to them. What do they do that creates fear/uneasiness?

➢ Intentionally or unintentionally use body language that makes others uneasy. Examples:
• Mean-spirited looks that could “kill”
• Hands on hips that can express displeasure, even anger
• Smirks, frowns, piercing looks
• Ignoring others by not listening, or interrupting others conversations
• Improper use of communication such as being silent when silence is inappropriate

➢ Using CYA, which bosses are good at (leaders do not practice “pointing fingers”)
➢ Know-it-all bosses who, “you can’t tell them anything they don’t already know or know better than you”
➢ Those who do not respect workers work ethic, values, expertise, knowledge, or passion for their work

What are the consequences of fear in the workplace? Examples:

• It limits creativity (why worry about it if I might get “chewed out?”)
• It limits problem solving
• Builds walls instead of communication, openness, and teamwork
• A lot more backbiting
• Lack of sharing of information

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
Mark Twain

Author: maxbinkley

Creator of Leadership to the Max My experience in the military helped set the career path for me in human resources. After the military I worked for The Dow Chemical Company and left there in 1993 to venture out on my own. I purchased a small business, then a franchise then started another business in semi-retirement.

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