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Bob Sutton


A very wise comment! Thank you.


Wally Bock

To sound somewhat like a former president, "It depends on what you mean by motivator." If "motivator" means "something that influences choices in behavior, then fear is a motivator. If "motivator" means "something that moves people forward," then fear is no motivator at all.

From where I sit, fear is the environmental results of a load of negative consequences. Negative consequences have a use in management. You can use them to get people to avoid or stop behaviors. If you do that too much, people simply quit trying things. That's what happens in a climate of fear.

Positive consequences, by contrast, are great for getting people to try things or to continue difficult behaviors. If your workplace has a lot of these it won't be a fearful place.

David Maxfield

I posted on this same topic a little while ago:

Fear motivates action, but it's almost always short-term and selfish action--aimed at self preservation. Make sense?



I can comment on Fear as a motivator and say I have only seen it slow down or stop change in groups.

I think it runs contrary to the engagement the students seek. I really think you have to stick to Chip Heath's rules of 'stickyness'...

They want the public to think about, engage in, and discuss this subject not be fearful of it.


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