Things can look great on the surface. However, dig a bit deeper and all of us share at least some of these fears:
- The fear that we won’t live up to our expectations of ourselves.
- The fear that we won’t live up to expectations of someone else.
- The fear that while we are successful, we’re doing the wrong thing. As the saying goes, we might have climbed to the top of the ladder, but it’s leaning on the wrong wall.
- The fear that no matter how successful we might be now, it’s still not enough.
- The fear that we aren’t always a good person.
- The fear that we aren’t attractive or well liked.
- The fear that we’re disconnected with ourselves.
- The fear that we’re disconnected from family members and other loved ones.
- The fear that there has to be more, but we’re not sure what it is.
- The fear that we might fail.
- The fear that our “secret” might be disclosed.
- The fear that we have to do it all alone
- . The fear that we’re exhausted and out of balance.
- The fear that people will leave us.
- The fear that we’ll waste what we’ve accomplished because we have no loved ones with whom to share it.
- The fear that we’re out of control.
- The fear that our time and health are slipping away.
- The fear that we’ll become obsolete and put out to pasture.
- The fear that our children would rather have more of us than the money we earn or, conversely the fear that they would rather have our money instead of us.
- The fear that our greatest successes lie in the past.
- The fear we won’t be able to afford retirement.
Although I focus on the word “fear,” the term “unfair” also applies. What feels unfair to you? Why is that the case? What is it that you fear related to the unfairness? For example, if an employee doesn’t hand a project in on time, this feels unfair. However, it goes deeper than that. What lies behind the unfairness is fear that the employee is incompetent or doesn’t care, that you have misjudged or mismanaged them or will end up doing their work, or that your customer or client will misjudge you.
What does this have to do with management and HR? Absolutely everything!
Here’s the point: Nobody escapes feelings of unfairness or fear. Dr. Deming preached that one of the 14 Principles of Management is to drive fear out of your company. Acknowledging the fact that something feels unfair and then finding the fear behind it can be a powerful source of revelation. In my experience, the answer is to remain grateful and find the lesson that you need to learn. This is the ultimate responsibility; the source of growth that gives you the opportunity to let go without guilt and move on, knowing you’ve done your best. What more can you ask for?