“You even need to tell your supervisor ‘I don’t do well with fear. You need to build an environment of encouragement. Help me grow.'” — Arlee Griffith, Jr.
This past Sunday, one of my pastors talked about fear. He briefly touched on leading with fear and how that has no place in a healthy relationship or environment. It’s not all about religion, though. A workplace ruled by fear is not good for anyone. I, as an employee, won’t give 100% to a supervisor who is always holding a write-up or termination over my head. In that case, what I will give 100% to is my job search because I will always be looking to get out of there. And, even if the employer/supervisor isn’t threatening my job directly, if I see him/her ruling others with fear, I know that, the moment (s)he is dissatisfied with my work, I will be next on the list.
In addition to the effect that fear-based leadership has on a team, I have a theory about leaders who rule with fear: They, themselves are afraid. They are so focused on keeping the power that they fail to lead to the best of their capabilities. Stop being so concerned with losing your position of power that you don’t build better leaders. Managers who hire incompetent people just so that their positions are never challenged are the worst kind of leaders ever. By dumbing down their staffs, they are ultimately not growing themselves.
So, managers/supervisors/bosses, try to empower your team instead of scaring them. You’ll get better results. I can guarantee it. Yes, a time may come when you have to discipline someone. But learn the difference between disciplining someone and scaring them into submission.