Leaders, managers and entrepreneurs have long debated whether it is best to get their people to fear them or to like them. This question was posed by Machiavelli centuries ago in his controversial book on politics “The Prince”. While this was in regard to how leaders should govern their people, that question can also be asked of our managers.
Management by fear is associated with certain attitudes. Here, there is a strong belief in negative reinforcement, like penalties to force compliance. This type of manager usually cares little about employees’ personal lives. On the other hand, those who want to be loved believe that if they make their employees happy, these people will reciprocate and be more productive.
Both sides have their advocates. In practice, people use a combination of the two styles, although there is usually a tendency to rely mostly on the method of their preference.