In an article on CNBC, author Tom Reiger discusses a key issue covered in his book Breaking the Fear Barrier: How Fear Destroys Companies from Inside Out and What to Do about It.
Due to the past and current economic climate, anxiety and fear has become a staple in the workplace. “In the midst of all of this uncertainty, managers and employees will inevitably feel compelled to build walls to protect themselves, regardless of the impact on the overall company. If left unchecked, this attitude can pit the good of the individual against the greater good of the organization—spelling death for companies.”
Two kids of courage are at play in this situation, and they are at odds:
- Vital courage: the inward focus of survival, which could be thought of as our Reptilian brain
- Moral courage: our compass of morality that leads us to take a path for the greater good
In companies that have a high level of fear, employees may be asked to make decisions that tap moral courage and suppress vital courage. But humans are wired to focus on our vitals. Thus Reiger advises companies to “make employees feel comfortable and motivated to perform acts of moral courage. The key is to design rewards and performance management in a way that balances and aligns both types of courage. ”
Have you even been in a situation where you felt at odds? Please share!
Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.