BeautyLink - Volume 6, Issue 4 - (Page 49)
Removing the Fear Factor
WAYS TO BECOME A MORE EFFECTIVE LEADER
BY ALESIA LATSON
hen you see flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror, what's the first thought that pops
into your mind? If you're like most people, you
get an uneasy feeling in your stomach and
think, "Uh-oh. What did I do?" When a person
of authority suddenly makes an appearance,
it's human nature for those around the person to have a fear response
and jump to the worst case scenario.
If you're a leader, chances are your staff experiences some of these
same "authority" feelings in your presence. When you casually ask a
staff member, "Can you please come to my office for a moment?" or
when you're in a meeting and defensively respond to an employee's
comments with, "But that's not my understanding of things," you're
likely to trigger a fear response.
Fear in a relationship has many negative effects. Research shows
that fear impairs people's analytical thinking, decreases creative
insight and reduces problem-solving abilities. Even though most
bosses don't intend to intimidate their people, employees experience fear of authority due to simple, everyday boss behaviors. Here
are some suggestions for making "boss encounters" more positive.
habit of asking three open-ended questions before advocating
Open-ended questions make the person you're speaking with
feel that he or she has important insights, fostering collaboration,
trust and respect while reducing defensiveness. For example,
asking, "What evidence do you have to support this conclusion?"
or "How would you describe your philosophy on this?" or "Why
are you recommending this approach" prompts the employee to
reflect on the situation. Asking three questions indicates you're
deeply interested in the employee's opinion.
Headline Your Requests: When you ask an employee, "Can
Be a Fearless Leader: Leaders have a tremendous impact on
you please come to my office for a moment," you perceive it as an
innocuous request. But an employee may translate your words and
rushed tone as, "What did I do? Am in trouble?" and "Why does she
want to see me?"
Avoid this response by preceding your request with a headline
that adds context. For example, "Chris, I'd like to get your feedback
on something. Can you come to my office for a moment?" Notice
how those few words in the headline change the implied context
of the request.
their employees' lives-financially, emotionally and mentally.
When you take the steps to make sure your impact is one that
enhances the workplace rather than instills fear in it, you'll create
an organizational culture that breeds mutual respect, creativity
and collaboration. And that's the hallmark of a true leader.
Be Curious: Leaders should use questions to challenge people
in a positive, motivating way. So instead of asking defensive
questions like, "Why did you do that?" or using "but" statements
like, "Yes, but that's not my understanding of the issue," get in the
Set Ground Rules Before the Meeting or Conversation:
One of the most common ways leaders unknowingly assert their
dominance over employees is by interrupting people when they
speak. To alleviate this fear-inducing habit, set the ground rules for
how you work best. If you want people to get to the point and only
discuss pertinent details, tell them. For example, you could say, "We
only have 30 minutes, so please keep your report brief. Start with
your findings then we can ask questions." When you express how
you want to receive information, the need to interrupt decreases.
Alesia Latson is a speaker, trainer, coach and
founder of Latson Leadership Group, a consulting
firm specializing in management and leadership
development. With more than 20 years of experience,
Latson helps organizations and leaders expand
their capacity to produce results while enhancing
employee engagement. For more information on Alesia's speaking and
consulting, please visit www.latsonleadershipgroup.com.
The courses ML111 - Leading and Motivating, ML112 - Team Leadership and ML113 - Team Management are
available on the AACS Online Training Center. Members call AACS at 800-831-1086 for your VIP Discount Code. Visit
the following URLs to learn more about these courses: www.aacstraining.org/ML111, www.aacstraining.org/ML112
B E AUT YL I NK | E * V A L* U * AT E | 2 0 1 4 |
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BeautyLink - Volume 6, Issue 4
Celebrating 90 Years!
Preparing for the State Exam
Don’t Misfire When You Hire
The Power of Effective Questioning
What’s Your Etti-Q?
Personal Finance for Rookies
Boss Encounters: Removing the Fear Factor
Performance Review Primer
Whet Your Appetite for Success
BeautyLink - Volume 6, Issue 4