Driving out fear LO5629

John Paul Fullerton (jpf6745@acs.tamu.edu)
Wed, 14 Feb 1996 18:26:22 +0000

Reponding to what John Mosman said in LO5568
Subject was Bosses vs. Leaders

I had said
>> Yesterday and today I was thinking about how one of Dr. Deming's 14
>> Points for Management - "drive out fear" - would actually work in a real
>> environment.

and then John said
> Don't you think Deming was referring to fear in managing rather than
> external threats and the fear it might cause?

It seems like it would be consistent with his view that workers have no
fear in reporting machinery that was not working, no fear in making
suggestions, and no fear from being blamed for a problem with the system.

My focus, though I may not have voiced it, was that a good manager might
either allow something in the environment to result in a worker fearing or
might directly address the worker in a way that could result in fear. That
doesn't mean manipulate the worker, and it doesn't mean do something that
would necessarily result in fear. It could simply mean not play the game.

I think that such treatment, though not necessarily on the job, has caused
me to awaken to concerns that were previously not seen.

Returning to your question again and the idea that "drive out fear" might
not have anything to do with external threat. I wonder if Dr. Deming, the
champion for treating workers good, also had considerable sensitivity to
cycles that might tempt him to fear. In his secretary's book "The World of
W. Edwards Deming" he mentions doing a job wrong in college because he
assumed it would complete itself - then hearing that his boss was looking
for him. He said that he called for a priest for confession when he was
assaulted and near shock. - I understand that this could just be a basic
religious practice and may possibly not relate to fear. He acknowledged
that he had been impatient with his wife, and I've heard that he was
impatient with others. If these things cause us when we're involved in
them concern and bring us into cycles where fear plays a part, then the
fear that haunts us outside the workplace hinders us as truly as fear on
the job. That would go with the thought that fear reduces ability, and
fear can be alieviated through openness and efforts to train and
strengthen workers. If on-the-job fear can be reduced, then why not other
fears as well? Perhaps there was a consciousness of these concerns in Dr.
Deming's management theory. The scripture says, "perfect love casts out
fear", so it may take more than just learning how to do technical tasks
with greater knowledge.

Even with this line of reasoning, your question and the sense that it
brings, may be right. Should events outside the system concern the

Please note that I am not a psychologist. I'm not saying what Dr. Deming's
thoughts were. Though I'm "doing my best", "how could I know"? :)

Have a nice day
John Paul Fullerton

"John Paul Fullerton" <jpf6745@acs.tamu.edu>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>