All of us have at least one thing we fear. Some fear death and some fear spiders, while others may have the fear of heights or the fear of failing. In a managerial position, the same concept is true. Managers have fears about competition, meeting deadlines, quarterly earnings, etc. So, how can we best overcome our fears? Well, one of my good friends had a fear of riding roller coasters; however, one day he calls me up and says, ‘hey, let’s go to Six Flags.’ Of course, I reminded him that he didn’t like roller coasters, but he was adamant to go and conquer his fear. He had looked up information online about roller coasters and he had watched simulation videos of roller coaster rides. So, he was equipped and prepared to meet his fear head-on.
Therefore, the best way for managers to conquer their fears in the workplace is to change the way they think about fear. This can be done by simply equipping and preparing themselves for a direct encounter with each fear. This basically means doing just two things:
- Turn Your Fears into Fascination Drivers – In other words, research and learn as much as you can about each fear. What can you learn from it and how can you turn it into a source of positive energy? If you have a fear about your competition, then learn everything you can about them. What makes them tick? What are their goals? In what areas are they strong and weak? Then, take this information and determine how you can re-frame it into a positive aspect that will be beneficial for you and your team.
- View Your Fears as Opportunities – Start looking at fear as an indicator of something that needs attention…and not as something to avoid. It’s a way to identify problems and issues and then to develop strategies to overcome those problems and issues. Have a fear about an upcoming deadline, then take charge and develop a plan in advance with specific timelines for each step that’s needed in meeting your deadline. Don’t procrastinate just because you have a fear because when you do that, then you’re allowing the fear to take control of your management process.
By becoming fascinated with your managerial fears and learning how to turn them into opportunities, you can become more effective in your day to day responsibilities and push forward into new, innovative areas that will advance the overall mission of your organization. So this week, take time to list a few of your immediate fears and start changing how you think about each particular one.