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Fear of Failure Is Stifling Workplaces

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By Diane Stafford

fear_of_failure(MCT)—A decade ago, motivational speakers trumpeted to ballroom-sized crowds, “Don’t be afraid to fail!” CEOs told their employees to take risks: Be brave! That’s how progress happens.

We don’t hear that as much anymore. Mistakes are expensive. Failure kills careers.

A recent survey confirms the kibosh on risk-taking. According to AMA Enterprise, a division of American Management Association International, there is a strong fear of failure and risk aversion in the workplace.

And because people are afraid of being held accountable for mistakes, they’re also avoiding taking responsibility for their work. No one wants to be the scapegoat.

An AMA survey, which this year reached managers and employees in about 500 U.S. companies, found that fear of being held responsible for mistakes or failures was the single biggest obstacle to encouraging people to take greater responsibility.

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