Face it. As negative as it may sound, fear is a pretty big player in the business world. We try to be positive, we talk about confidence and the need for a positive attitude, but even if weve got things under control ourselves , many people around us seem to be wrestling with their fears much of the time.
Fear shows up in many ways in business. Think about the people who work around you. Perhaps you know someone who is afraid of confrontation, so she never addresses problems with people head on. You may have a colleague in sales who is reluctant to cold call or nail down customer commitments because of a core fear of rejection . His sales volume isnt as high as he knows it could be. Maybe you know a leader whose fear of failure holds him back from taking risks. Forward momentum in his organization is stifled. Most offices have at least one employee who is so afraid of being judged negatively that silence is their norm. Coworkers dont get access to the intelligence available to them.
All these situations are ripe for conflict as people hide from each other, aggress against each other, misunderstand each other, mis-communicate with each other. Besides hurting their own careers and the careers of those around them, they are limiting the success of their organizations and, unfortunately , limiting the harmony of their relationships outside work. There is no doubt that fear is a common obstacle to personal and organizational success. The characteristics of the worriers, controllers, fakes , and other quintessential business types described in the first part of this book can all be traced to fear. They are the people I see most frequently in my coaching practice. The presence of fear as the core driver of their patterned behavior has emerged loud and clear. And I have seen the aforementioned conflict decrease markedly as they have owned their fear and worked through their problems.