Do Not Create a Culture of Fear

fear“This world of ours… must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.” —Dwight D. Eisenhower

For as long as we have had written history, we know that people in power have used fear as a tool to control others. While fear may be an effective means of exerting control, it shows desperation on the part of a leader who is at a loss for any other means of gaining influence. Fear creates a culture where gains and progress are short lived. Employees will not thrive in this type of environment and where employees do not thrive, neither do the leaders or the organization as a whole. So, do not create a culture of fear!

Fear

A culture of fear will result in dread. Employees who dread coming to work will never give 100% of their potential productivity. A culture of fear creates a destructive circle where all trust is lost. And, without trust you, as a leader, lose your ability to influence others and in turn must resort to fear as a means of control. By creating a culture of fear you are drastically reducing your options for getting the results you desire.

Hate

A culture of fear is a breeding ground for hate. Hate creates a contentious environment where energy and focus are diverted from the tasks at hand to hateful and disgusted feelings toward others. When you, as a leader, use fear to control others you pit one group against another in order to perpetuate the fear and trigger distrust. Hate and distrust eliminate any chance for effective teamwork and collaboration. By creating a culture of fear you are undermining your own leadership effectiveness.

You Have the Control

As a leader, you have control over the culture you chose to create. If fear is your only option to influence your employees, you need to seriously reconsider whether you are leadership material. A culture of fear only leads to distrust and hate. This is not a culture that encourages teamwork and the contribution of 100% of employee potential to achieving organizational goals. You have the control. Either you will create a culture of fear that will give you short-term results but will undermine your leadership in the long run or you will create a supportive, trusting environment where everyone wants to work together for the success of the whole.

© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

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Overcoming the Fear of Change in the Workplace

file9861310649818“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” —Sydney J. Harris

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

I love the above quote from Sydney Harris; what an oxymoron, we want things to get better but we don’t want anything to change. This applies in both our personal lives and in the workplace. As leaders, our fear of change is compounded in the workplace. We have learned to control people and things the way they are but, what will happen if things change? Will we lose control? Or, might we get left behind? Does the need to change mean we were wrong in the first place? How will change impact our progress? So, how can we overcome the fear of change in the workplace?

This is the way we’ve always done it

We have to start with doing away with the mindset that “this is the way we’ve always done it, so this is the way we’re going to do it.” There is no guarantee that what has worked for us in the past will continue to work for us in the future. In fact, quite the opposite is true. If we don’t challenge the status quo we will not be prepared to meet the demands we will encounter in the future. You must develop the courage to reexamine the situation and reevaluate your thinking. Are your decisions influenced by your biases? How can you be prepared to confront the unexpected and seize new opportunities if you do not encourage and embrace the change and innovation necessary to stay ahead of the pack?

You fear the unknown

Change forces you to step out of your comfort zone; it exposes you to a new world and new experiences. We fear that change is unpredictable and the thought of the unknown can be terrifying. While facing the unknown requires taking on a certain amount of risk, it is also a great way to build confidence and open yourself up to a whole new perspective and a world of new opportunities. To overcome the fear of change in the workplace, learn to embrace the opportunities that await you on the other side of uncertainty.

You think you know everything

When you think you know everything you are going to fear change. Effective change requires the participation of employees throughout your organization. And guess what, you are going to find that some of them know things that you don’t. No one knows everything, not even you. That’s where shared responsibility and cooperation comes into play. Successful organizations capitalize on the individual strengths and knowledge of their employees. To overcome the fear of change in the workplace, learn to accept the fact that you do not, nor should you, know everything.

You don’t trust your employees

In order to overcome the fear of change in the workplace, you must hire the right people, give them the training they need, and then let them do their jobs. When you don’t trust your employees, you will fear change. You will question their ability to make the decisions and take the actions necessary to implement change effectively without disrupting business operations. Encourage an attitude of teamwork and set the example by developing trusting relationships with your employees.

You will lose control

As a leader, your biggest fear is that you will lose control. This fear is magnified whenever change is involved. This fear rolls the fear of the unknown, thinking that you know everything, and lack of trust in your employees into a demon that will kill any effort at change, innovation, and progress. If you fear the loss of control you probably have a micromanagement problem. Employees need to feel competent and in control of their own work. Micromanagement and excessive control undermines relationships, trust, engagement, performance, and loyalty. To overcome the fear of change in the workplace, focus on helping your teams work well together and make sure employees are engaged and feel valued instead of fearing that you will lose control.

Overcome the Fear of Change

Things cannot get better yet remain the same. Change is a necessity; we must change or we become obsolete. As a leader, you must learn to be comfortable questioning the status quo. Then, you must embrace the change that is required to achieve success today, tomorrow, and into the future.

© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

Four Myths that Cause Us to Fear Failure

file0002062790027.jpg“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” —J. K. Rowling

  

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

It’s part of life, part of business, part of any challenging endeavor that we undertake. We’ve all experienced it, we’ve all survived it, yet we all fear it: failure. Why does the mere thought of it undermine the self-esteem of even the most confident among us? We fear failure because we believe the lies we tell ourselves. Here are four myths that cause us all to fear failing:

We will be less than

We often fear that if we fail we will be seen as less than perfect. Well, here’s the cold hard truth, none of us are perfect and we never will be. Just because we aren’t perfect, doesn’t make us any less valuable, less capable, or less worthy.

We won’t make any progress

We often think that if we are failing, we aren’t making any progress. The fact is, quite the opposite is true. There is more to learn from failure than there is from any amount of success. As long as we are learning, we are making progress.

It will define us

We often fear that failing makes us a failure. We are not defined by our failures; it’s what we do with them that really matters. Failure is an event; it does not speak to who you are, what your values are, or what you are capable of accomplishing.

We won’t recover

We’ve failed before and we‘ll fail again. We recovered last time, we’ll recover this time, and I’m willing to bet that we’ll recover next time. Not to say that recovery isn’t a long hard road, but the lessons are in the journey. And the truth is, the more we fail, the better equipped we become to deal with and recover from our next failure.

Start Failing

The truth is you’re going to fail. You will fail, the person next to you will fail, and the person above you will fail. Failing is an inevitable part of life. But, it is in failing that we find the opportunity to learn, to grow, and to gain confidence. It doesn’t make you less than. It will not hinder your progress. It does not define you. And, despite how you may feel at the time, you will recover. It’s time to stop believing the myths and start failing.

© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

“A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.” —Denis Waitley

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

Your Comfort Zone

Why break out of your comfort zone? You will never create anything new if you don’t stretch your boundaries and break out of the status quo. Getting out of your comfort zone allows you to see new possibilities and forge a new path to achieve your goals. Your life experiences are fuller and your horizons are broader on outside. You get to define who you are and how you view opportunity. Are you going to play is safe? Or, are you going to risk it all outside of your comfort zone?

Overcome fear

Dan Stevens believed, “The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fear.”  Don’t let fear prevent you from thinking in new ways and trying new things. You’ll be amazed at how resilient, capable, confident, and courageous you can become. Learn to let go of the need to be in total control. Step outside your comfort zone, set aside your fear, and try something totally different.

Welcome challenge

J.R. Martinez said, “I’ve learned in my life that it’s important to be able to step outside your comfort zone and be challenged with something you’re not familiar or accustomed to. That challenge will allow you to see what you can do.” You possess a wealth of knowledge and experience. Trust this knowledge and experience to help you confront and overcome the challenges you will face outside your comfort zone. The satisfaction you receive from successfully prevailing in light of challenge allows you to create rewarding work. If you never feel uncomfortable you are limiting your possibilities and your growth. Embrace challenge; reframe your goals so they include learning new things and exploring new experiences.

Take risks

Edward Whitacre, Jr. told us, “Be willing to step outside your comfort zone once in a while; take the risks in life that seem worth taking. The ride might not be as predictable as if you’d just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting.” Let go of the idea of perfection; it is a concept that is unattainable and causes you to avoid risk. With risk, you face the chance of failure but, also the opportunity for great success. Visualize obstacles, see yourself overcoming them, and then take the risk. You may not always win, but you will always grow.

A New Normal

Robin S. Sharma explained, “As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.” That which is scary will eventually become comfortable. You will open yourself up to amazing new experiences. You may even meet new people and develop new relationships. You are a work in progress.  Break out of your comfort zone, face your fear, overcome the challenges, and take the risk; you’ll be glad you did.

© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

Stand Strong and Persevere

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” —Walter Elliot

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

Perseverance

We do not succeed in a day, a week, or even a year. Success takes dedication and perseverance; and it takes it on a daily basis; day after day, week after week, and year after year. No one can do it for you; you have to do it for yourself. Stop dwelling on the negative; stand strong and persevere.

Overcome your fear

So where do you start? First, you must learn not to let fear stand in your way, causing you to give up. Charles Stanley wrote, “Fear stifles out thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.” If you want to succeed, you must be willing to fail. Recognize that failure is not something to fear, it is only temporary; grow from it and move forward. Become courageous enough to do what you’re afraid doing. Only then will you build the resilience necessary to bounce back from defeat.

 Welcome a new challenge

Summer Sanders said, “To be a champion, I think you have to see the big picture. It’s not about winning and losing; it’s about every day hard work and about thriving on a challenge.” When you learn to thrive on challenge you no longer perceive it as an obstacle to success. Take the initiative and accept the challenge to act on your biggest ideas. Develop the tenacity necessary to fight for your dreams. Every new challenge is an opportunity to get closer to achieving your goals. Step out of you comfort zone and stand strong in the face of adversity. Use challenge as an opportunity to experience, learn, and grow.

Keep moving forward

Conrad Hall explained, “You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.” You keep moving forward when to choose to take responsibility, learn from your mistakes, and make corrections. You will never regret putting forth the effort necessary to keep moving when things get tough. When you feel stuck, try looking at things from a different point of view. You never know when all the hard work and perseverance is going to pay off so, never give up. Take stock of both your accomplishments and the lessons learned from your failures and then keep moving forward.

You Can Do It

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow told us, “Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.” Accept that the only person you can control is yourself. Acceptance of this fact places the responsibility for your success squarely on your shoulders. Develop courage by overcoming fear, build resiliency by welcoming a new challenge, and use the lessons you learn to keep moving you forward. Stand strong and persevere; you can do it.

© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.