Respect is not handed down to you. Even if you are high on the organizational chart doesn’t mean that you deserve respect from your employees and colleagues. Respect is earned and too many leaders take their titles and authority for granted. As leaders in today’s trustworthy and transparent workplaces, it’s crucial that you be responsible for your actions and accountable for the effect you have on your team and the company.
Respect, trust, and overall loyalty are earned over time, so here are some tips to start today!
Believe in Yourself First & Set the Standard
“Some are born great, some achieve great greatness, and some have great thrust upon them.” This quote by William Shakespeare couldn’t be more accurate for the types of leaders in our workplace. However, no matter how you received your leadership role, it may not feel like you deserve the role. If you can’t believe in yourself, then your employees won’t either.
Leaders lead; followers follow. Plain and simple, if you want respect, you need to show respect and trust your employees first. A great leader knows when to delegate to their employees, but a better an respected leader knows when to stand back and let their employees take control over the task they were given. You may delegate a task or responsibility, but many leaders fail to fully let go of the steering wheel and this causes employees to feel like they aren’t trusted or perhaps even worthless.
Be Positive & Available
Negativity only leads to a negative workplace and depleted morale. You cannot gain respect by governing through fear. When a leader is negative, bitter, or mean, people typically ridicule them behind their back. It’s important for you to be positive in your verbal and nonverbal language. Being available to your employees is also crucial. Having an open-door policy is one thing; making the time to talk with your employees and seek out their opinions is a an entirely different ballpark. Employees want to be able to come to you when they have issues or concerns.
Help When You Can
Whenever you see one of your staff members needing help – no matter how busy you are – offer to help. Stepping in to help won’t go unnoticed by that employee and will prove that you’re a team player, working for the betterment of the company.
Know What You Want
It’s hard to respect a leader who doesn’t know what they want to achieve. It’s especially hard when that leader gets angry or annoyed when they change their mind on what is important. For example, if one day your leader assigns a goal for your team to aim for, but halfway through, they decide that it’s the not right direction for the company, how would that make you feel as an employee? It’s important to know what you want and to be consistent with how you act! To avoid any confusion in your leadership, the things you say and the things you do need to match.
Stand By Your Mistakes
A great leader isn’t afraid to take risks, but on the other side of that admirable quality, a respected leader also has the ability to admit they were wrong. Leaders make difficult decisions every day in their position for their team and when things don’t go as planned, you need to stand by those mistakes and admit you were wrong and learn from those mistakes. It’s the part of being sincere and transparent to your employees that is respectable. Your team will appreciate and learn by your example.
Deflect Your Own Recognition
As humans, we are all credit addicts. We want all the recognition that we can get and sometimes it might be tempting to take credit for other’s hard work, especially as their superior. Being a manager is about providing guidance to your employees, but sometimes it may seem that your employee’s achievement is also your own since you “managed” their accomplishment. If you want your employees to respect you, you have to respect them enough to recognize them for their achievement and not take credit.