Childlike Fear, Corporate Consequences
Sometimes Terrible Office Tyrants™ (TOTs) panic excessively for no reason, like little tykes. It can be caused by small irritable things, like no breakfast or sleep deprivation — or something seemingly serious, such as a possible dip in profits. But it's the "possible" that makes the difference between a clear thinking manager and a TOT. Toddlers and young children can have supercharged irrational fears because for them, in the absence of knowledge, anxiety quickly fills the void.
The same thing can happen with your boss who, like a toddler, is in a strong position of power, but doesn't quite know how to handle all the authority and pressure. The difference is that fear from the top often ripples throughout a company: in the absence of knowledge in a tense environment, anxiety fills the void for anyone. So, employees and even managers become jumpy, distracted and unproductive.
While the best leaders must watch the competition like a hawk, that must be balanced with assurances that the captain of the ship is not without a rudder! There is an uncanny parallel of unfounded fear, whether the age is two and 52, even at the highest levels in a company.
What does this mean for you? You can hone one of the most precious people skills that is valued at every senior level of an organization, but rarely spoken of. Rather than fall prey to a perceived crisis yourself, after giving your boss the audience he or she needs, you can calmly take the discussion to the world of reality and facts. Sometimes your tone and matter of fact demeanor alone can help a manager see the forest through the trees, and get beyond one of the most common TOT traits: irrational fear.