How does fear undermine business leaders' and workers' goals?


Our response:

When fear is present we often respond with one of our unproductive strategies. Given our personality, we all have our unproductive behaviors of choice; these include badmouthing, backstabbing, backbiting, withholding information, etc. These are behaviors that lower productivity as we go towards shared goals because reaching the goal is simply harder when these behaviors are going on. When we operate out of fear we use these behaviors as defense mechanisms, which might feel like they are helping us, but which cause “collateral damage” in the context of overall productivity.

An emotionally intelligent response would be to feel our feelings (which are human and normal), understand them, manage them, and then make a request or have a communication that productively addresses the concern.

For example, one of us had a concern during a week-long offsite meeting for a client, that one or two others on our A&R team would try to “take over” and move things in a direction they thought helpful but not agreed upon.

Prior to the offsite, we shared our concerns openly, and also suggested what might address the concern. The person in question, expressed the above concern and said “What would address this concern inside of me is if I heard everyone say that I am the ‘point person’ in the room for the week and that if decisions are to be made and we don’t agree, you will honor my role and let me make the call.” It felt so much better to them to have it out on the table. Everyone could see the value of being clear up front in a area of concern.

This type of discussion requires trust -- but trust can be built through trust building (vs. trust busting) behaviors. Call us if you'd like to learn more...this is one of our favorite topics!


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