Leadership Strategies for Eliminating Workplace Fear

Share this Episode!

Team members are often afraid of one thing:screwing up in their job. Ironically, team members fear losing their jobs and leaders fear losing their best team members! With that being said, leaders should focus on implementing organizational policies that eradicate fear and build trust.

In today’s podcast episode, we interview Steve Prentice, speaker, journalist, university lecturer, and author of the book, The Future of Workplace Fear: How Human Reflex Stands in the Way of Digital Transformation. Today’s topics focus on how fear can become a driving force behind emotions and actions, how leaders can empathize and talk about fear with team members, and how using a specific style of individualized management can improve employee engagement in today’s rapidly changing workplace as team members Team Anywhere.

What Surprised Steve Over the Last 2 Years

Steve has noticed that there seems to be an ongoing groupthink that has taken over many parts of the world. He believes the cause of this phenomenon is the influence of social media. He has seen examples of this leading to an us versus them mentality, which has significantly increased polarization in terms of political opinion. Steve discussed that this phenomenon may be caused by an overload of bad things that shift our mindsets on a daily basis.

Fear as the Primary Driving Force in Emotions

Human beings have lots of primary competing drives such as love, greed, and compassion. However, discussed in the podcast and in his book, The Future of Workplace Fear: How Human Reflex Stands in the Way of Digital Transformation, the author demonstrates how fear tends to be a predominant force behind our emotions. Fear is a natural response to change and disruption as people contemplate consequences and become defensive.

How Leaders Can Empathize with the Fears of Their Team Members

The future of workplace management is based on the grounds of empathy and the psychological safety of team members. And yet, there is that lingering fear of “losing my job” that causes team members to be less vocal and involved. As team managers or leaders in the modern world, one must be able to take the initiative and say, “let’s talk about this more.” Creating an open-communication culture supports mental health and fosters openness towards diversity, equity, and inclusion. This allows team members to speak what is on their minds without fear. With that being said, managers and leaders should change the way people are trained, and leaders should role model dialogue and inclusive behaviors.

The Leadership of the Future According to Steve

Steve said that leadership of the future is going to be about tearing down what holds us up and what holds us back. The realm of work now includes both physical and virtual spaces.. The concept of “I am your boss and you have to follow everything I say,” is no longer acceptable. Instead, leaders need to explore the following:

  1. Tell me what you’re doing.
  2. Tell me what we need to do.
  3. How do you think we should build this?
  4. How can we make this happen?

These topics help team members realize that they are important and valued. This individualized approach towards managing would then increase employee engagement, promote psychological safety, and improve talent retention in the workplace.

Who is Steve Prentice?

Steve Prentice is a specialist in organizational psychology, focusing on the junction where people and technology interact. He helps people and organizations understand each other, the technologies they use, and the changes that they present. He is a speaker, writer, journalist, and university lecturer who focuses on human acceptance of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, blockchain and the future of work. 

His fourth book is entitled The Future of Workplace Fear – How Human Reflex Stands in the Way of Digital Transformation (Apress, May 9, 2022) and it focuses on this one key fact: humans are driven by fear, and its roots are much deeper than they appear — anyone who seeks to deploy digital transformation successfully must understand this. Learn more at steveprentice.com. 

To learn more about Eliminating Workplace Fear, download this episode now.

Online Courses for Leaders Leading a Team From Anywhere:

Check out these online courses for remote leaders from the Team Anywhere Team.

How to Be an Effective Remote Manager | How to Build Virtual Accountability

Eliminating Workplace Fear Quotes

Share this Episode!