In the question:How can I manage my team to maintain a reasonable productivity when my employer doesn't treat employees well?

One of the answers basically was: "fear them into working hard".

And while I don't like that it is an answer, it's a valid answer nonetheless. Now it gets downvoted and invisible because people don't like this management style rather then that it is not a good answer.

Fearing people into working harder might not be the nice thing to do, in quite a few circumstances it really is the way to go.

Is this a site for only nice answers for people who live in an ideal dream-world or is it also for realistic answers for people who live in the real world?

  • People are free to vote any Answer up or down as they please. Is the answer you mentioned actually "invisible" to you? If so, how did you read it? I assume you upvoted that one? – Joe Strazzere Oct 23 '19 at 14:56
  • For a significant part of the real world, following the advice of that particular answer will pretty much end up with you having to replace your team so often that you will end up further reducing your productivity - either through you firing "examples" or just everyone else moving on as fast as they can. – HorusKol Oct 24 '19 at 12:35
  • @HorusKol and for another probably larger part of the real world, it's the only solution that would work. – Kilisi Oct 25 '19 at 6:43

Not especially. "Hard truth" kinds of answers are permissible as well, respectfully worded of course.

The negativity against this answer is most probably because modern business culture is leaning away from a blame/threat model of motivating employees and trying to positively motivate instead.

Gone are the days when bosses used to yell at employees while showering them with hot cigar ash.

It's not an "idea dream world", it's showing respect for your colleagues, regardless of where they are in the organization chart.

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    "Gone are the days..." this is highly cultural, the question asker is Chinese and works for a Chinese company. – Pieter B Oct 23 '19 at 13:39
  • Yes, gone are the days.... is highly locale/cultural specific.... not unusual for anything up to physical discipline of recalcitrant workers in probably half the World.... just not your half – Kilisi Oct 23 '19 at 20:43

There are people from varying perspectives, and answers get down voted for varying reasons. Get above about 25k in rep, and people will start down-voting you just because they can.

But the varying perspectives is where the value lies. Perhaps for you, fear would work, for example. With the people I've worked with in the past, it didn't. Someone tried it with me, and ended up becoming a former employee himself. The value comes from hearing all sides.

What is right may not be what is popular, and what is popular may not be what is right. Distinguishing between the two is where wisdom comes in, and a good answer is one that explains the thinking behind the answer.

All attempts at driving answers have resulted in bitter failure. Or, try fear here, and you don't get far.

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    everyone is a hero, until it happens to them and they're faced with unemployment and looming bills to pay, then suddenly they realise they have their undies outside their clothes and a sheet for a cape, unfortunately a lot of voters are temporary heroes – Kilisi Oct 27 '19 at 22:19
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    @Kilisi last time I was a hero, I ended up losing my house. I prefer the role of villain now. – Old_Lamplighter Oct 29 '19 at 13:12
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    People can lose house, wif, kids, become drunks or addicts or go sideways on life altogether. Unemployment is no joke for many in the real World – Kilisi Oct 29 '19 at 13:33
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    @Kilisi yes, which is why I bristle every time the comments in my answers explode with pontificating keyboard warriors who would faint at the prospect of real world conflict, telling me how I'm contributing to bullying, "part of the problem" or even "the reason why workplaces are so toxic". Yeah, right. My advice, like yours, is more pragmatic. I'm not out to save the world, just give practical advice – Old_Lamplighter Oct 29 '19 at 13:41

How to not only get “ideal world” answers?

We get plenty of answers that apply to the real world rather than just the ideal world. IN fact, I believe most of our answers fit that model.

Readers are permitted to upvote or downvote answers however they please, for any reason they choose. Downvotes don't necessarily indicate that the answer is invalid.

Extremely non-mainstream answers tend to attract more downvotes. That doesn't mean we don't get any, just that many "disagree" with the answer.

You are free to upvote as many answers as you like. You and others can choose to upvote answers even when you don't like that it is an answer.


We do get real world answers. The beauty of TWP is that you get differing perspectives and widely differing strategies sometimes. Because our problems are people related diametrically different strategies may both be perfectly valid.

People vote from their perspective, that can't be helped and is fine as well.

Upvote whichever works for you.

Some of my answers are very unpopular, but in my locale and with certain styles they're the only viable solution, so I leave them up. Intelligent people in the correct situation will realise that they need to be pragmatic in that situation and pick up some ideas they need to know about.

I often end up upvoting competing answers to mine because they seem reasonable solutions but just don't fit my style or something.

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    My issue is, that an unpopular but valid answer gets so many down-votes that it becomes invisible. – Pieter B Oct 24 '19 at 1:35
  • @PieterB I see what you mean..... not really anything that can be done about it, it's not a common scenario anyway.... – Kilisi Oct 31 '19 at 2:52

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