Lesson 17º








Using fear

It is essential to point out that besides the extremely negative effects that a management based on fear causes a company, a boss has not right to act this way.

As a boss, with the power that his role bestows him, it is essential for him to give orders, demand fulfilment and act if the employee doesn’t fulfil his obligation.

Being a leader doesn’t give you the right to abuse people, to pressure them in an unjustified way, to generate unbearable tension. In short, not to treat them with the respect that they deserve.

Sometimes using fear helps a company to obtain good results in the short term, but this situation isn’t maintainable with time.

A person that is frightened will do anything possible to reach the marked objectives and avoid being punished. However, it will be impossible for them to maintain this level of hard work in the long term: the tension, stress and fear will take their toll.

After a period of time we will find ourselves with an exhausting employee, totally burned out. An exhausted person can not give their best.

Besides, if it is true that the frightened employee will do anything to fulfil their goals, it is also true that they will limit themselves to do this and nothing more.

A “frightened” employee will never think about being active, creative, innovative or think up new ideas; why? So that the management use them to establish even more complicated objectives? Maybe a tense atmosphere improves collaboration?

Using fear makes organizations disintegrate.

The fear that the management uses will be used at the bottom of the hierarchy, affecting everyone in the company.

This will generate an atmosphere that favours intrigue, jealousy, problems, abuse: everything has to be done in order to survive (every man to themselves).

Using fear produces other negative effects.

It generates a confrontation between management and staff, forgetting the fact that everyone is in the same boat.

In difficult moments, when it is necessary to ask the employees an extraordinary sacrifice, they are not going to want to help.

Fear also hides problems. An employee might fear his boss’s reaction. When finally these problems come to light, it may be too late.

There is no loyalty to a company. Are companies capable of keeping their best employees?

Of course not. The best employees will be those that find it easy to change jobs.

In spite of all of these negative consequences that a management based on fear entails, it is shocking how many companies use this style.

The explanation is, as was previously indicated, this method is sometimes very effective in the short term.

Besides, a management style that is creative, convincing, motivating etc. requires some leadership qualities that not everyone has. On the other hand, it is very easy “to pick up the whip”.