We can blame Stephen King, but the truth is we fear clowns for two primary reasons…
1. Clowns wear make-up and costumes that disguise their true identities and emotions. This goes against our evolutionary need to quickly identify faces to determine who’s safe and who’s a threat.
2. A clown’s behaviour is unpredictable. We don’t know if a handshake comes with a buzzer, if we’re about to get hit with an inflatable hammer, or if… if… if… you get the idea.
So what does coulrophobia have to do with your leadership? Hint: It’s not your makeup.
A team once shared with me the most terrifying part of their day was watching their boss pull into the parking lot.
Because they had no idea what leader they were getting each day. And this uncertainty, the inability to predict the mood, reactions and overall behaviour – especially of their boss – produced immense anxiety and fear.
Kind of like working for a clown.
So be sure to keep your behaviour consistent and predictable, because while you might not be sporting the red nose and big shoes, you certainly don’t want be clowning around with your leadership.