Culture Quiz Result:

“Fear-Based Culture”


Based on your responses, it seems your organization could be living in the past. You have a fear-based culture, which is traditional, patriarchal, and paternalistic. What the boss says goes, and heads will roll if there’s resistance. Employees don’t feel safe to openly communicate their ideas, concerns, and feedback. While a fear-based culture may work in the short-term, it most likely won’t survive the test of time.


  • Lack of psychological safety
    Psychological safety is the concept of a shared belief among a team that it is a safe space for authenticity and risk taking. Without psychological safety, people become guarded. Instead of being motivated by the excitement of growth, they are driven by a fear of failure or judgment.
  • Silenced voices
    When operating out of fear, employees won’t share their honest opinions, which leaves a ton of room for error. That means new ideas aren’t being explored, potential problems aren’t being noted, and constructive criticism is never on the table.
  • Hindered innovation
    This type of culture prevents people from taking risks and exploring new ideas. A company that discourages creative risk taking is unlikely to survive.
  • Negative effect on mental health
    A fear-based culture can lead employees to feel undervalued and even abused. Such negative feelings can take a huge toll on one’s mental health, which ultimately impacts their performance and longevity within the organization.
  • Increased risk of burnout
    Employees tend to break their backs trying to please the boss in a fear-based culture, which is not a very sustainable approach to work. Eventually, people will get fed up or utterly exhausted from trying to meet impossible expectations with little to no appreciation.

Tips for Improvement:

  • Share some of the power
    Sharing power may slow down the process but ultimately leads to more engaged staff and better decisions. We all know that dictatorships are not necessarily known for being the most effective or sustainable form of leadership. Your organization is a team, don’t forget that. Working together and empowering employees will go further than barking orders.
  • Create a safe space
    Show your team that they can come forward with questions, comments, concerns, and ideas without fear of being shut down or blamed if things go wrong. Progress requires experimentation and the occasional failure, and its always better to have tried than to have not.
  • Facilitate dialogue sessions
    Having a designated time and space to talk through your employees’ experience is a great way to ease into a more open flow of communication. It will also shed light on the realities of your organization’s culture so that you can have a better understanding of what’s working and what’s not.
  • Implement burnout prevention measures
    Burnout prevention ultimately boils down to reducing work-related stress and minimizing unrealistic expectations. That said, there are other more specific things that can be done, such as offering mental health services for your team, providing more paid vacation times, adjusting workloads, and setting clear boundaries that prevent your employees from being on call 24/7.
  • Bring in a leadership coach
    It can be very hard to effectively redesign your leadership style, no matter how much the desire is there. Sometimes it just makes more sense to get the help of a professional who can help guide the way.