Is It A Good Idea To Use Fear As A Leadership Strategy?

leadershipSeveral organizations work under the mistaken assumption and myth that fear can be one of the best motivators for their employees, and that one of the best leadership styles may be that of instilling fear of the leader in the minds of the employees, so that they perform according to the leader’s specifications.

As a matter of fact, using fear as a motivator may turn out to be more detrimental to the organization than the management would have realized if they had sat and thought about it deeply.

For instance, when an employee fears his employer, it will create unnecessary stress and tension in him, and this will in turn mean that he will burn out easily, and also become de-motivated about his work and about his organization [Employee Motivation]. This in turn will become detrimental to his performance and lead to great employee dissatisfaction.

Furthermore, the employee will probably try his best to resist the leader’s directives asking him to improve his performance.

However, at the same time, one has to be aware of the fact that fear to a certain extent can prove to be an excellent motivator.

For instance, when a firm has employed a new set of people, they may try to act stubborn or refuse to follow certain set rules, or even resent the leaders telling them what to do.

In such cases, fear can bring them to hand and inculcate in them a sense of discipline, and also help them know that the management means business.

Here are some tips for leaders who want to use fear as one of the motivators for their employees [Leadership skills], for whatever reason:

  • The leader must define the problem first. He must sit down and analyze why his employee has not been performing up to the required standards, and then he must think about how effective fear may prove to be with him.
  • The leader must also consider whether the fear would motivate his employee, or rather, de-motivate him to such an extent that he may start to think of leaving the organization. Is this something the leader requires, or must he do his best to prevent this valuable employee from leaving?

The leader must also make sure to leave the channel of communication open, so that the employee may approach him whenever he feels the need to, even if he fears him. This will pave the way towards building up a better and longer lasting relationship between employer and employee.



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