When I read a recent KSL article about a school superintendent berating and threatening employees, it sounded very familiar. I am also working for a leader who intimidates and threatens employees and uses fear to motivate us. How does one deal with this type of leader and how can someone be sure they aren’t this type of leader?
There are basically two types of leaders: Those who function in fear about their own value and can therefore only focus on themselves, and those who are secure about who they are and can therefore focus on the needs of others. I call these fear-motivated leaders or love-motivated leaders. (FYI: Parents are also leaders and fall into these same two categories.)
It sounds like the superintendent you read about may be a fear-motivated leader. Anyone who needs to threaten and intimidate employees (or children) to control their behavior is not secure about who they are. Their focus is on protecting and promoting themselves and making themselves look good. They are coming from a place of ego, and they often use intimidation to control and manipulate other people.
If you want to be love-motivated leader (or parent) you should:
If you are currently working for a fear-motivated leader, here are a couple of suggestions that may help:
1) Make sure you are seeing this person accurately.
3) Validate him as often as possible. This makes him feel safe with you. Be kind and respectful and stay in control of your emotions and reactions. The more mature and wise you behave, the better.
4) Document everything. Quietly keep track of unethical, immoral or manipulative behavior. Write everything down. Hopefully, a right moment will show up when you’ll be glad you did.
5) Say as little as possible. When you do need to speak, ask lots of questions and listen to him first, then choose your words carefully. Don’t put this person on the defensive.
6) When he does behave like a love-motivated leader, be sure to notice, thank him and let him know how much you appreciate it. This will encourage good behavior in the future.
You may also want to update your resume.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in repairing self esteem and restoring hope.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.