Fear is not a magic power
“Why we fear” is the title of Henri Hypönnens recent book on fear, and my primary takeaway from his talk was, that even if companies have used – and still are using – fear as a method to control and motivate their employees, it does not work.
Being afraid disconnects us from each other. The emotional and primitive fight/flight signals from Amygdala, boosts cortisol secretion that override both the hippocampus – center of short term memory and creativity, and the executive functions in the prefrontal cortex. As a result, fear reduces the available IQ and hence almost immediately reduces the productivity.
Most striking to me was the results from a test where teams was exposed to a simple type of performance management:
During the test, when completing the each sub-task, each individual was shown how they were rated against the other team members. Initially the team members had same average IQ, but at completion, the IQ of the lowest scored individuals dropped 17,4 point. The highest performing individuals ‘only’ dropped 8 points.
Surely you can discuss what IQ is and how relevant different types of IQ is in different situations and tasks, but if you have an average IQ and it drops 17,4 points, you are basically as clever as the most intelligent dog breed. Now go and be productive!