Leadership Insight: How to Spot Fear | #PeopleSkills #LeadMorale

How is your leadership insight into the fear factor during this health crisis? Do you know how you show your fear? Can you spot fear in those you lead? Fear doesn’t always cry or cower. Consider the different ways people show fear.

Leadership Insight Spot Fear: Image is the word fear with a ladder coming up through it.

Leadership Insight: Spot These Forms of Fear! Image by VIC via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by VIC via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Leadership Insight: How to Spot Fear

I often wonder how skilled leaders are in spotting the different ways people show their fear. It’s important leadership insight to have to lead people through a crisis.

    Fear can appear as …

  1. Denial. “Oh this isn’t a crisis. It’s no big deal.” This can be a big problem. It can make the crisis worse. Be honest and confident. Show everyone the truth and how they can mitigate the crisis.

  2. Mislabeling & disdain. Some people will label others as weak for showing fear. In truth, this mislabeling and disdain is how these people show their own fear.

  3. Reckless behavior. In some ways this is a form of denial. They don’t like the limitations of a crisis so they act recklessly and endanger others. Stop these reckless folks from making the crisis worse.

  4. Inflexible adherence to rules. Did you ever meet someone who in a crisis overlooks the urgency and plods along the normal way? Inflexibility can be quite serious in a crisis. Show people how and why they need to flex a bit.

  5. Fear can also appear as …

  6. Resentment to untitled leaders. Many people who are good in a crisis show their natural leadership strength. Others in the group sometimes resent it. Yet in truth this resentment is an expression of fear. Don’t attack it. Show everyone they matter and how they can help in the crisis.

  7. Verbal attacks. Fear often shows up as verbal conflict. See the fear and help everyone shift from fear to action.

  8. Selfish behavior. When people feel they have no control in a situation, they sometimes shift into thinking only of themselves. Check your own leadership style. They may need more reassurance and confidence from you to shift them out of selfishness.

  9. Prejudice and blaming. Be very alert to this expression of fear. It is very damaging to everyone and stops real solutions.

  10. Bullying. This is an outgrowth of the prejudice and blaming reaction. Address it to prevent bullying.

  11. Leadership Insight: Fear can exaggerate what’s already there.

  12. Extreme personality behavior. Every personality type (amiable, expressive, analytic, driver) has certain strong behaviors. Fear exaggerates those behaviors. Amiables, who generally talk a lot about personal and social details, may talk non-stop when they are afraid. Analytics, who analyze a great deal before taking action, can get stuck in analysis paralysis. Expressives, who communicate excessively on the subject at hand, can drive people nuts as they talk endlessly about the crisis. Drivers, who generally crave end results, may start shouting orders if they feel others aren’t solving the crisis quickly enough. In all four types, fear drives the regular behavior to extremes.

Summary and Call to Action

Leaders, the more you know about those you lead, the better you can lead them especially in a crisis. Use all your leadership insight to understand how those you lead show fear. Help them to see it too so they can pull together as a team. Spotting the fear will prevent you from mislabeling them and their behavior and will empower you to lead morale!

Your Turn: How else do people show their fear?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Personality Types Impact Outcomes Especially in a Crisis
Connected Leadership: Learn These Things About Those You Lead

©2020 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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