Nov 12, 2019
What does it take to be a good leader? In a word: respect.
This is one behavioral characteristic amongst leaders who manifest a positive influence on their organization and its people. Every employee, from the entry-level to the C-Suite deserves to be treated with respect and to have their humanity acknowledged with compassion. Are you that kind of leader?
These exceptional leaders do not judge or mock people at work, even behind closed doors. When they do have differences with others, they display respect for those they differ with. This is how respect is earned and displayed.
Many leaders who treat others disrespectfully demand that they are treated with the utmost respect in return. Unfortunately for these people, it just doesn't work that way.
Here are 3 simple ways to transform your leadership style and infuse your language and actions with more respect:
Nobody likes to be coerced into doing something. Even if they obey orders, it is not uncommon for resentment to build up. When your colleagues are respected and treated with the humanity they deserve, studies show that workers participate more, offer solutions, and feel that they are truly part of a thriving team. Isn't that the desired goal?
Disagreements are often inevitable. But how do you encourage your team to work through those disagreements without the tension that so often accompanies it? The way your model respect for others will go a long way to keep these conflicts from escalating. In other words, disagree without being disagreeable.
How do you earn the trust of your co-workers? Two ways: do the right thing and do things right. That is the touchstone of respect in the workplace. Be honest, open, transparent and do the right thing even when that is not the easiest path to choose.
If you’ve worked for any length of time in a business environment, you’ve personally witnessed the good, bad and the ugly in the managers and leaders around you. “Leader” is an interesting term because it implies that as a “leader” you lead people well. But we all know that’s not necessarily true. In my 35+ years of working, I’ve seen that there are precious few standout leaders in corporate organizations, government and other arenas today who are making a lasting positive difference in their leadership and who serve as inspiring examples for others to follow.
Do a Google search of “leadership” and you’ll see literally millions of articles, interviews, reports and research about leadership and how to be a better leader (my quick search today came up with 7.7+ million). But what I see missing in so much of today’s coverage around leadership is the importance of treating everyone in your organization, from the lowest level to the highest, with respect.