STATUS is your perceived or actual standing in the world, this is more than just your seniority or ‘pecking order’ in the organisation. It is your sense of self-worth in relation to others

It includes but is not limited to, other dimensions of social relevance like your abilities, achievements, occupation,  economic standing, physical attributes, behaviors and future prospects.

THE FEAR FACTOR linked to status is the fear of rejection. The fear of rejection can be stimulated when receiving critical advice, instructions, or feedback  – this explains why performance reviews are often ineffective at driving positive behaviour change.



Mastery. Self improvement is a more sustainable way to  reward status and remove fear of rejection.  For individuals that means focusing on self-mastery, intrinsically improving their status by comparing their new, improved self with their former self. A bit like improving their handicap in golf.


Acknowledgement. Appreciation of the unique value and contribution that individuals add to a team is a powerful way to increase social status and drive positive behaviours. Techniques like gamification and peer recognition within teams help build individual and team status.


Feedback. Managers can often be inhibited to give positive feedback  in fear that it will raise expectations of increased status through promotion or financial reward. Those managers fail to recognise that regular positive feedback is a reward mechanism in itself.


Learning. Using promotion as a status reward can have the unintended consequence of “the Peter Principle” – promoting people to the point of their incompetence. Providing access to personal learning and development is a more sustainable way to reward status with the added advantage of  improving competence.