If we are afraid of failing, we won’t try new things.
If we are afraid of looking stupid in front of others, we won’t take the lead.
If we are afraid the donor will say, “no,” we won’t invite the gift.
If we are afraid of confrontation, we won’t speak plainly to each other.
If we are afraid of not meeting goals, we won’t create them.
If we are afraid of disappointing others, we will say “yes” far too often.
If we are afraid of criticism, we won’t ask questions of others.
If we are afraid of making a decision, we will complain that circumstances control our fate.
If we are afraid of trusting others, we won’t share information.
Fear drives far more unhelpful social behaviors than we realize.
And since we typically view fear as an emotion affecting individuals, we don’t always recognize that teams, collectively, can be negatively impacted by fear as well.
Re-read the statements above. But, this time, don’t read them thinking about yourself or how another individual responds. Read the statements and think about your team’s culture.
Today, it might be worth asking your colleagues, “what are we afraid of?”