How Courageous Leaders Earn Respect From Their Team
Leadership has evolved from 20 years ago. A leader no longer automatically receives respect due to their title. Today’s workforce demands a new type of leader; one who is worthy of their trust and respect. But how do courageous leaders earn respect from their team?
Respect is crucial for leaders.
It ensures that your team trusts you enough to let you guide their development and take your advice on board, while respect also increases the chance that they’ll listen to your critique and directions when necessary. Thus, it’s important that leaders earn respect instead of just expecting it.
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to respect. It has to be earned and maintained and nurtured.
To be an effective leader, you can’t just come in and start throwing your weight around. You have to command respect. That doesn’t come from just coming in and saying “I’m the leader, listen to me.”
Respect and leadership go hand in hand.
It’s a fundamental principle: To lead others, you first have to earn their respect. But it goes much deeper. Great leadership creates a climate of respect, an environment that sets high standards and supports everyone in doing their best.
You have to earn respect. And once earned, you have to keep it. So how do you go about doing that?
If you are relatively new to a leadership role, it can be difficult to earn this respect. Luckily, you don’t need to be perfect to gain respect from your team, it just takes a little consideration and self-awareness. Here are 5 effective ways that you can earn respect as a leader.
Rule #1: Respect Your Staff
It works both ways. In order for your team to respect you, you must, in turn, show them that you respect them too. Getting to know individuals on a personal level, as well as professional will show that you appreciate them and will improve work relationships.
Respect is circular. To earn it, you have to give it.
The respect you show to others not only models how you’d like them to treat you and each other but also reflects your own self-respect. The principle of respect should guide your actions every day. Respect cuts both ways and it can often be demonstrated in the smallest of actions. Be punctual to meetings — time is also a valuable commodity to your team. When you’re in one to ones, actively listen — don’t be multi-taking on your phone or answering emails. Show genuine interest in them.
Great leaders understand that your title doesn’t make you a leader; your character does.
If you want respect, you need to start by showing respect to others and earn their respect in return. Be the type of person that people can depend on, that people trust and people want to follow and you will earn their respect in no time. Basically, be the type of leader you wish you worked for.
The most respected leaders know that respect is a two-way street. They treat everyone compassionately and with consideration.
Even when they have to give criticism or negative feedback. This is always done in a respectful way. Respecting others as much as possible will create a positive environment that will encourage employees to respect you in return, while ensuring that morale is increased. It can be easy to assume people know that they’re doing a good job but actually expressing this to them can make a big difference on how they feel at work.
A workplace without respect is usually fairly easy to spot.
People probably don’t contribute many ideas, they may not speak up when problems arise and they may be constantly searching for a way out. When leaders do not treat their employees and peers with respect, the entire foundation becomes wobbly, putting the organization at risk. When we are respectful to others, people will be more willing to work with us, and even to take risks with us. A sour, disrespectful boss will only accumulate empty chairs as people move on to better opportunities.
Rule #2: Own Your Mistakes
Leaders are human and just like your employees, you’ll make mistakes from time to time. It’s important that you own up to your wrongdoings and show your employees through example how to bounce back from a mistake. Always do everything you can to fix your errors and don’t be afraid to ask for help correcting a mistake. Your workers will notice and respect you for it.
Respected leaders are those who are not afraid to take risks. The other side of this admirable quality is the ability to admit wrong doing.
Such leaders do not hesitate to make the most difficult decisions and will put themselves out on the frontline to lead by example. They gravitate towards what many view as a “leap of faith” and willingly accept the challenge — knowing very well that the odds may not be in their favor given the personalities and inherent obstacles that surround them.
Always be prepared to take risks and own your mistakes.
As a leader there’s an expectation that you’ll take calculated risks. Conversely that risk may not deliver the results you anticipated and in these situations don’t seek to blame, take ownership, learning and the required steps to rectify it. Your team will respect you more for it and it set’s a great example of what you would expect from them in a similar situation.
If you aren’t naming it, you aren’t claiming it.
Owning a mistake means that you recognize a specific error in judgment, bad decision, or improper action. Naming it demonstrates reflection, analysis, growth — and humility. If you made the decision, initiated the change, approved the policy, supervised the people, or led a new product campaign, you’re responsible for the outcome.
Confident leaders don’t hold back sharing their successes but they also aren’t afraid to speak up, when appropriate, about mistakes made and lessons learned.
Sharing their own stories of struggle can help their team members with their own professional development without actually telling them what to do. It also teaches a very powerful lesson around self-forgiveness, which is a far healthier motivator than self-shame. When you forgive yourself, you are free to start over, be better, and get really creative about how you move forward in life and work.
Rule #3: Listen More
When your employees come to you give them your undivided attention and really listen to what they have to say. If they make suggestions try to take them onboard where possible, or at least give it some proper consideration and work to resolve their issue.
Repeat after me: Input = Buy In = Loyalty.
The more input you get from your team members, the more buy in your get on your mission. This also increases the loyalty they give to achieve the goals you set for them. Yet you will gain far more respect as a leader because you are opening yourself up to your people. Plus, how are you going to grow as a leader if you don’t know if what you are doing is having the right impact or if you are you leading effectively? It can be empowering process.
It’s difficult to have respect for someone who doesn’t listen to what you have to say, especially when they’re responsible for your progression, and day-to-day tasks.
This means leaders need to prioritize giving employees the opportunity to express their opinion and give their insight about work matters. However, it doesn’t stop there. As a leader, you need to ensure that you are taking what they say onboard and taking steps to address any problems or concerns they’ve shared.
People who are always rushing to speak first often come across as insecure and rash.
Those who take the time to listen and gather all the facts before speaking seem like they really see the bigger picture. A true leader knows the value of listening, and how it grows their respect immensely. Sometimes managers can become frustrated because their team won’t follow their directions. However, the root cause of this issue may be that the leader is simply not listening to complaints or feedback coming from the team.
When you stop listening and just want people to “Do what I say”, you start to lose respect. This “My way or the highway” approach makes people feel like their opinions aren’t valued.
Once this happens, team members stop contributing their ideas. Sometimes, they might even take matters into their own hands and make changes themselves. If your team has a lot of experience, there is more chance that this will be the case. They’ll do what they know is right, because their manager won’t listen anyway.
Rule #4: Recognize Their Wins
You can earn the respect of employees by rewarding them for their accomplishments. Find out how each employee likes to be recognized, whether it’s public praise or a private congratulations. Rewarding employees in the way they wish to be recognized demonstrates you care for them and creates a supportive work environment.
Too many leaders are recognition addicts and want all of the credit.
They spend too much time breaking-down rather than building-up their teams. They don’t take the time to genuinely learn about other’s needs. Leadership is ultimately about knowing the people you serve and giving them the guidance, inspiration and navigational tools to make their lives better and enable more opportunities.
Leaders earn respect when they reward and recognize their employees and teams.
They take the time to appreciate and understand the unique ways they each think, act and innovate — and are always on the lookout to enable their talent. They are trusted, admired and respected because they make it more about the advancement of others, rather than themselves. They share the harvest of the momentum they build with others.
If you have to tell everyone what a great leader you are, chances are, you’re not that great.
Great leaders focus on adding value to others so that they feel valued within their team. Ego is a social mask we wear when we have to play a role. It thrives on approval, control and power because it’s grounded in fear. Let go of worrying about how you’re perceived and whether you’re getting the credit you deserve. Focus on your mission and your team.
Employees who feel appreciated and know their efforts have been noticed become even more productive with the next round of projects.
No matter what’s happening in the world, cultivating a company culture of growth and happiness pays big dividends. Feeling appreciated and valued is great for retaining your top performers and dedicated workers (and they talk to other people, so it’s also good for recruiting!). It fosters a sense of loyalty and makes people want to work hard. And, let’s face it, it’s just good for everyone’s mental health, if we can boost spirits.
Rule #5: Pave The Way
When you’re consistent–when people know what to expect from you–they will be equally consistent in their respect for you and your leadership. Stay accountable and responsible and keep your words and actions aligned. Consistency is a commitment, but it’s a lot easier and more effective than faking it.
Actions are stronger than words, and this is personified by the respected leader.
Great leaders despise false promises and people that create lots of unnecessary noise to get attention. There are many leaders that play the part on the outside, but have very little substance on the inside. Respected leaders are those who consistently prove through their work ethic that they are reliable and trustworthy on the inside and out.
If you want your employees to show integrity, you must show it first. If you want your employees to work hard, you need to show them that you’re a hard worker.
Being accountable to the standards you set out is crucial if you want those around you to respect you and your position. Everyone wants a leader that makes a difference and acts on their intentions. Hold yourself to the highest standards to earn respect from the people on your team. If you’re unsure what you should be doing, speak to employees and ask them for insight. By maintaining high standards yourself, you can honestly and fairly expect those around you to live up to their full potential too.
It’s no good chastising your employees for being on time if you’re always wandering in and out of the office whenever you feel like it.
You’ll come across like a hypocrite, and lose respect. Set an example by being the first in the office and the last to leave. A leader who leads by example positions himself as a credible person who deserves to be respected and trusted. The staff sees the leader as a person who understands their plight, rather than as a person who only gives instructions. They appreciate what the leader does, and work toward helping the leader achieve the organization’s goals.
As a manager, you can’t lead from the sidelines. You need to be involved in the work and know the ins and outs of the business.
Working alongside your team helps build trust while expanding your own skills and knowledge. To effectively lead your team, follow the rules you set out for your team. Leaders shouldn’t find themselves behind a desk all day; they should be with their team, supporting them in their daily tasks. Leaders should not be above getting their hands dirty.
Leaders don’t automatically gain respect from their employees; they need to earn respect by demonstrating that they value employees and prioritize their growth. Gaining the respect of employees is important for management, because it improves workplace morale and can provide greater motivation among workers to be productive.
In order to be a good leader, respect is essential.
Don’t take it for granted that your status will automatically earn you the respect of your team, as it is something that must be earned over time and without it, it’s likely that you will have little authority and your team mates will feel less inclined to place their trust in your ability to lead them.
When you think of great leaders who are honored and respected, they weren’t always necessarily well-liked.
But they were respected for how they led and made those around them better. Over time this earned respect defined their legacy in a positive manner and secured their place in history (e.g. Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton in politics; Steve Jobs and Jack Welch in business).
A great leader earns respect, and when you apply the tips above you’ll take your organization and the people under you to new heights.
You’ll inspire leadership in those who work for you and with you. And you’ll change lives, maybe in ways you didn’t ever expect. Take that step today, and make tomorrow better. You’ll be glad you did.
Respect is hard to win and easy to lose. Take the time to make sure you’re putting in a little work every day to win more of it.
Gaining your teams’ respect will help you have more influence with them. You can start by applying the 5 ways that courageous leaders gain respect in the workplace. Be the type of leader you wish you worked for and you will gain respect in no time.
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.