Fear is a great motivator

Fear is a great motivator. I highly recommend it for leaders interested in short term, instantaneous results. It causes employees to jump through hoops to please you and it will just about guarantee that you will rarely hear much bad news. In fact, you will feel safe and secure knowing you are in complete control.  

Of course, ruling by fear does have a few nasty side-affects...but nothing that a few more threats and insults can't cure. Here are some tried and true techniques that are sure to inspire just the right amount of "motivation" in your employees:


1.    Yell at them in front of peers and customers. This is sure to make them feel mortified and humiliated. There's nothing like showing them whose boss to get their attention. It's sure to make them dig in and apply themselves to solving the stupid mistake they made and they will have renewed incentive to try to please you.

2.    Assume they aren't trying to do the job the best they can. Don't let their thin excuses about trying something new or helping the customer deter you from their real intentions. If you assume they are trying to slack off or sabotage the work they won't be so quick to pull the wool over your eyes next time.

3.    Threaten your employees by telling them they are going to lose their jobs. This is particularly effective if you want them to work extra hard on a special project. Another tip is to tell them that only the very best workers will be spared. This added motivation makes them work harder than ever before.

4.    Keep them off balance by changing the work rules to suit your needs at the moment. This way, everyone will have to be nice to you to get any favors. Think of how powerful you'll be! Don't let charges of "inconsistency" and "unfairness" bother you. After all, you made the rules and you can bend them. You're the boss aren't you?

5.    Don't tell your employees what you expect of them. This will give them too much information. It always leads to chaos. How can you control their every move and keep close tabs on them if they're off on their own doing god knows what? Besides, if you don't tell them what you want upfront, you can change it as often as you like.

6.    Don't give too much feedback. This is exactly what they want so don't fall for it. If you don't tell them anything-or just tell them when they make a mistake-you'll be able to keep them confused and cowed. Only give negative feedback so they are always inspired by how smart you are. Only really smart people are able to spot the flaw in everything. If they ask too many questions about their performance, see number 3.

7.    Change priorities suddenly and often. This is a great way to keep their attention focused on you. If you are good at this people will have to check with you all the time about what to do next and you won't ever have to leave your office. It will also make you look very informed and important because you will react to top management's wishes...and you know how demanding they can be.

8.    Don't show them the strategic plan or the company or department's goals. They aren't as sophisticated as you are so they wouldn't know what to do with them anyway. (See number 7)

9.    Threaten them by saying top management is watching their every move. This is very useful if they stop jumping every time you issue an order or they are reluctant to take on more responsibility. If you scare them about some far away, distant, menacing rulers, they are sure to do whatever you tell them.

10.Only tell your employees the bare minimum. Operate by the "need to know" philosophy. Those people who preach "two-way communication" are out of their minds. Don't they see how employees can use this information against you? And for heaven sakes, when you do talk to them, don't allow any room for questions. That's why emails are much better than meetings.

11.Don't let employees out of your sight. You won't be able to check on everything they do. It's particularly effective if you peer over their shoulders while they're working so they know you are on to them and alert to any mistakes they are about to make. The more you do this, the more mistakes you will catch them making.

12.Reward employees who squeal on each other. This will make all of them loyal to you and you alone.  

If you don't follow these steps you could start to build trust and honesty in the workplace and if that ever gets started, there's no telling what could happen. 

Joan Lloyd is a Milwaukee based executive coach and organizational & leadership development strategist. She is known for her ability to help leaders and their teams achieve measurable, lasting improvements. Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding, providing: executive coaching, CEO coaching & leader team coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, retreat facilitation and presentation skill coaching and small group labs. Contact Joan Lloyd & Associates at (414) 573-1616, mailto:info@joanlloyd.com, or www.JoanLloyd.com 
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