The Myth of Fearlessness

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Information about The Myth of Fearlessness
Business & Mgmt

Published on January 23, 2014

Author: annedran



More than a thousand books have been written about fearlessness, a biological impossibility! In our work with leaders and employees, fear is the biggest barrier to success. Find out more about how to use fear to your advantage in your organization.

The Myth of Fearlessness Presented by Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard & Anne Dranitsaris, Ph.D. Principals, Caliber Leadership Systems

About the Speakers • Personality & behavioural change experts with over 60 combined years’ experience working with individuals, teams, leaders and organizations to eliminate dysfunction and maximize potential • Creators, Striving Styles® Personality Heather Dranitsaris-Hillia rd System, a neuro-psychological framework for development & behavioural change • Authors, Who Are You Meant To Be? A Groundbreaking, Step-by-Step Approach to Discovering and Fulfilling Your True Potential Anne Dranitsaris, P h.D.

Objectives • The role of emotions in performance & development • Fear as a barrier to performance, development & change processes • Common mistakes leaders make • Shifting from a culture of fear in organization • Addressing needs & fears in performance & development • Eight needs & fears that become barriers if not addressed

Prevailing myth…

Prevailing myth…

Prevailing myth…

No one is fearless. . .

No one is fearless. . . • This notion causes us to over control our emotions • We become disconnected and disassociated in order to stay in control of what we are feeling

What causes fear? • Uncertainty about unknown outcomes causes fear and anxiety, this is normal and natural • Effective emotional management calls for us to use our whole brain – our rational and emotional brains – during uncertain & stressful times • Courage – feeling afraid and continuing to work toward our desired outcome anyway

Everyone has fears! • A biological mandate – Instinctual – Biochemical – Occur in the brain Whether we want them to or not!

Conditioned to… – Control – Deny – Rationalize – Overcome – Avoid – Judge our fears, rather than examine and understand them

Motivation & fear • Fear is the strongest emotional motivator we have • If it comes down to what do we want vs. what do we fear, fear wins out

Our fears cause us to... • Behave in ways that: – ensure our physical & psychological survival – prevent us from repeating negative past experiences – limit ourselves, our experiences, what we say – get stuck in our lives

Research shows… 80% of what we fear NEVER happens!

Emotional Drivers of Behavior • By understanding the motivation and need attached to the fear, we can stop acting out of the fear.

The Brain, Needs & Associated Fears

Role of Emotions • Emotions are critical to successful performance and development • Drive our attention and behaviour – Enhance the experience: curiosity & exploration, increased retention OR – Shut down development: fight or flight response

Importance of Needs • Driven by powerful innate psychological needs • Our behaviour seeks to get these needs met • Hard-wired at birth • Source of all motivation and social interaction

Our Needs and Associated Fears

Our Needs and Associated Fears MBTI TYPE Predominant Need Associated Fear ESTJ, ENTJ To Be In Control Feeling helpless or powerless ISTP, ISTP To Be Knowledgeable Feeling ignorant or uninformed ENTP, ENFP To Be Recognized Feeling shame or embarrassment INTJ, INFJ To Be Perceptive Feeling ignored or diminished ESFJ, ENFJ To Be Connected Feeling abandoned or excluded ISFP, INFP To Be Creative Feeling invisible or assimilated ESTP, ESFP To Be Spontaneous Feeling trapped or restricted ISTJ, ISFJ To Be Secure Feeling anxious or insecure W we don’t know the needs, we cannot address the hen associated fears that get triggered during learning

Shifting from a Culture of Fear

Best Practice Approaches 1. Understand the impact of fear in organizations 2. Engage the whole person 3. Get familiar with common mistakes that leaders make that create a culture of fear

Impact of Fear in Organizations • Brains are designed to develop and improve performance over time • New neural pathways are created through repeated and frequent positive experiences • Fear, anxiety, negative emotional memories interfere with growth • Fear shuts down curiosity, initiative, & experimentation We don’t just get over it! We can’t just get on with it!

Engage the Whole Person • Ensure roles and learning approaches consider and engage the whole person – Brain Styles – mechanics of the mind – Emotional Drivers of Behaviour • Innate Needs • Associated Fears – Learning Styles • each Style begins the learning process from a different part of their brain

Common Mistakes Leaders Make Mistake #1: Believe employees are on board without checking in with how they are feeling, more than once – Notion that if no one says anything they are in agreement – Not recognizing that fear stops people from asking questions, getting clarification or make challenges Remedy: – Treat change, performance management & development as ongoing relational activities and not just a series of tasks – Ask and keep asking for feedback & input – Help employees see what you see until you feel them with you

Common Mistakes Leaders Make Mistake #2: Pretend that people will “just get over it” – Fear just doesn’t go away. In the absence of fears being addressed, employees shut down the 4 C’s of engagement: creativity, cooperation, curiosity & communication – Leaders fear the uncertainty of emotional dialogue or becoming too “soft”, instead become aloof & tough Remedy: – Look for meaning in behavior, don’t dismiss it – If employees are not cooperating, engage them in honest dialogue about their fears – Build awareness of own fears about interpersonal discussions

Common Mistakes Leaders Make Mistake #3: Plow ahead without dealing with resistance – Resistance is dealt with by trying to push through or ignore it – Often leaders are afraid to have one-on-one conversations with employees who are having difficulty with change – get angry instead – May try to steamroll or work around employees who are resisting out of their primary fear Remedy: – Make confronting resistance a part of any change or performance management or development process – Expect resistance to happen – Train for leaders in identifying resistance & how to address it

Common Mistakes Leaders Make Mistake #4: Judge employees who seem to resist change or new initiatives – Easier to say an employee isn’t a “team player” or is a “stick in the mud” than for a leader to admit they don’t want to work through resistance & fear – Some leaders don’t want to be “slowed down” by having to deal with the interpersonal side of change Remedy: – Leaders should notice when they are upset at employees, seeing them as impediments to change & ask for help – Notice impatience about moving forward at the expense of employees feelings – Examine timelines to ensure there is enough time for interpersonal needs & dialogue

Common Mistakes Leaders Make Mistake #5: Believe the negativity and dysfunction in their culture isn’t their fault – Not tuned in to the emotional climate of their team or organization – Place blame on employees for creating a negative culture – Look for quick fixes, rather than organic change Remedy: – Leaders need to have provide a vision for how the culture should feel and what they want employees to experience. – Provide relational and employee engagement activities – Forum for listening to and resolving issues & conflict

Address the Fears • Understand Brain Styles & extent of development of each quadrant • Provide activities that address fears • Train managers to address fears instead of reacting to behavior • Provide iterative experiences that lead to a sense of self-mastery and confidence

Remember... • Fear can be a destructive force in organizations when not attended to • Understand what need must be met in order for people to be secure and weave this into your programs • Resolve issues and conflict as they arise so that they don’t go underground and fester • Ongoing dialogue about resistance and the fears that get in the way of change, performance and development processes– develop a comfort zone M aximizing the R for performance & OI development is easy when you take a whole person, brain-based approach to the design and delivery of your programs!

Our Approach • Striving Styles Personality System is a neuropsychological framework for development, behavioural change and achieving potential – Can be integrated into any development program – Audit existing programs to ensure design & delivery reflect personality, emotions and how the brain learns – Facilitate organizational change, eliminate dysfunction and disengagement – Build expertise of anyone involved in training, development & behavioural change by becoming a Practitioner

Contact us …experts in behavioural change, organizational development & leadership systems …bring the Striving Styles into your organization’s development programs 416.406.3939 |

Leader: Need to be In Control Fear of feeling helpless or powerless IMPACT: – react defensively when told they have to attend training if not expecting it – disagree or argue with manager re performance & development needs – create power struggles (with boss or trainer); interrupt with challenging questions – refuse to participate; show up & don’t engage

Intellectual: Need to be Knowledgeable Fear of feeling ignorant or uninformed • IMPACT: – avoid situations where they aren’t the expert – routinely avoid group training or coaching – compete (with trainer); ask questions beyond scope of training to show expertise – refuse to participate; do other work; leave early

Performer: Need to be Recognized Fear of feeling shame or embarrassment • IMPACT: – ask questions and tell stories; hijack the training – dismissive or rude to the facilitator when asked not to talk; engage in side conversations that are disruptive to the group – disrespectful of those in authority (manager, facilitator, trainer, etc. act like their equal – argue and question things both for attention and because they feel entitled to do so

Visionary: Need to be Perceptive Fear of feeling ignored or diminished • IMPACT: – disengage from what is going on when they can’t get a picture of what’s going on and how they fit – shut down when told they need to develop interpersonal skills; have trouble picturing themselves behaving the way they are told they need to – intense questioning style intimidates the trainer or facilitator – when not allowed to ask questions, they feel ignored, disengage and stop participating

Socializer: Need to be Connected Fear of feeling abandoned or socially exiled • IMPACT: – give unwanted advice to feel connected and needed; get upset when they aren’t heeded – connect through focusing more on socializing or helping others than their own performance or development – assume the role of assistant; enforce rules, telling those who aren’t doing things properly what they should be doing – personalize performance feedback; blame boss for the way they feel and disconnect emotionally so ; Performance declines

Artist: Need to be Creative Fear of feeling invisible or assimilated • IMPACT: – exaggerate their shortcomings so others don’t expect anything from them – Personalize performance feedback; withdraw with a marked decline in engagement with others; more perfectionistic – keep to themselves and blame others for not including them. Don’t communicate necessary information on the team – hypersensitive; fear being judged or criticized. Can’t hear what is being said because of unrelenting negative self-talk

Adventurer: Need to be Spontaneous Fear of feeling trapped or restricted • IMPACT: – bored easily; become disruptive; make comments or tell jokes that interrupt the facilitator – vocal about how “stupid” or “worthless” the training is to validate their inappropriate behavior – performance correction is often around their impulsive behavior; act without telling others – impatient when training is abstract or conceptual

Stabilizer: Need to be Secure Fear of feeling anxious or insecure • IMPACT: – resist change, learning & trying new ways of doing things; don’t like strangers teaching them – don’t ask questions or participate in exercises; look like they are resistant or disinterested; frustrate facilitators – performance development focused on “soft skills” makes them anxious – catastrophize about training events; work themselves into anxious states

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