There are basically two ways to lead a group of people; through fear or through love.
Fear based management is all about putting extreme amounts of pressure on subordinates in hopes they will perform up to standards and beyond. Those who don’t perform well will be subject to discipline up to and including termination. In this day and age, it’s hard to believe how common this type of supervision still is today!
On a grand scale, history has taught us that governments ruling through fear based leadership have toppled over and crumbled in the long run. It simply does not work! On a smaller scale, imagine working under a manager who believes he or she is a mini-dictator ruling with an iron fist every time something doesn’t pan out as expected. This happens all the time!
What happens? For one, this type of management directly leads to less productivity in the workplace because people fear making mistakes and they take the safe route every time instead of taking necessary, innovative risks. Imagine how much more a person can accomplish if he or she does not have to continuously look over the shoulder, fearing the gavel coming down hard!
Managing by fear also causes more absenteeism and higher attrition rates than those who do not. Who wants to come to work when their manager is constantly pointing out every single mistake, embarrassing them in front of their peers, and occasionally yelling at them? It’s no different than a parent who constantly belittles their child, pointing out every single mistake and punishing him or her for it. What eventually happens to that child? The child grows up with an inferiority complex, afraid to take chances for fear of making mistakes and has trouble amounting to anything in life. It’s no different with fear based leadership.
By the way, do you know how difficult it is to hire talented people to a company with a reputation of treating their employees with hostility? Yep, you guessed it, slim and none. These companies will consistently settle for second rate employees in the end and even those excellent performers who slip through the cracks and join the team will eventually move on to greener pastures once they discover “they don’t need to put up with the crap.”
Fear based leadership creates resentment and hostility among employees and it causes a revolving door to open so that one by one, employees can escape this supervisory mess. It is absolutely lethal for companies trying to compete in virtually any industry because it prevents employees from setting and achieving goals for fear that they will lose their jobs. Nobody likes to have a tyrant as a supervisor and there is no reason to work for one. people who are in a supervisory position have a high degree of responsibility but it is incumbent upon them to treat subordinates with dignity and respect.
Sure, there are times when a supervisor needs to show that he or she “means business” but by managing people the right way in the first place, a supervisor will be that much more effective when he or she needs to come down hard on an employee.
One of the worst things a supervisor or owner of a business can tell their employee is that they should consider themselves fortunate that they are employed. This type of statement to any employee is not only abusive, it will lead to extreme resentment in the long run to the point where one employee can spread a “boss is ungrateful virus” throughout the workplace, causing more damage to the business than one could imagine.
Fear based management is purely ineffective leadership which can sabotage a company’s efforts to maintain productivity in the workplace. It’s too bad there are so many managers who missed this part of their schooling and training (Management 101) somewhere along the way.