Nobody wants to work for an Intolerable Boss, but for many people, the Fear Monger just happens to be the worst of the worst.
When our safety is threatened, there is a chemical reaction that happens up in our brains. A part of our Hippocampus gets triggered into what is commonly called an Amygdala Response or our Fight or Flight Response. It’s an automatic response that happens in the oldest, most primitive parts of our brains. Researchers believe that early humans developed this response to protect us from attacks from Sabre Toothed Tigers. Well, there aren't many Saber Toothed Tiger Attacks in offices these days, but the Fight Or Flight Response is still there and it’s still automatic, beyond much of our choices. What happens when we are triggered is that the Amygdala floods the Brian with Cortisol, a hormone that prevents our Executive Functioning, or Logical Thinking from happening in the Pre-Frontal Cortex, the region behind our forehead. So in effect, the brain is protecting us by prioritizing a survival mechanism. We either run or start swinging.
It’s pretty safe to say that fighting or running away are not the most effective strategies in boardrooms. But before we dig into our recommendations to survive Fear Monger Bosses, let's take a closer look at this Intolerable Boss style so that we know what we are dealing with.
Yelling at people does work, at least in the short term. But while it may be effective in the short term, experts say that it doesn't work in the long run. One reason may be that bosses who spread fear are, well, let’;s face it, they are unapproachable. It is risky to talk to a Fear Monger about what is really going on. That leads to wrong assessments and labeling.
It could be that Fear Mongers are plagued by their own fears or maybe they lack self-confidence. Or perhaps the person learned as a child that the authoritarian who threatens consequences gets results?
What is really interesting is to learn that most Researchers believe that many Fear Monger Bosses don't even realize they're spreading angst. They simply think that they are “getting things done”.
If somebody is behaving in a way that seems evil to you, or if what they are doing seems incomprehensible, like they have bad motives, well, most of the time, in THEIR minds, they don't. THEY think that they are doing the RIGHT thing. It's just that their perspective is different from ours.
Here are five strategies that the Leadership Brothers recommend to survive a Fear Monger Boss. Please note that much greater details are available for each strategy on the audio show.
1. Become an EQ Ninja and use the Stop, Breathe & Check Intentions method.
2. Shrug it off. Don’t let it get to you.
3. Document and wait.
4. Suggest Assessment and Coaching.
5. Consider Exit Strategies.
For all the lovely details of each recommendation, click PLAY and listen to this episode. It might be the best thing you’ve done for yourself all week.
Emotional Intelligence book by Daniel Goleman
Terry Lipovski’s Website
Terry Lipovski’s Email
Pat Lipovski’s Website
Pat Lipovski’s Email
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