Being respected is perhaps one of the most desired feelings in the world. For people working in the corporate world and rising up the corporate ladder, respect is an unstated but extremely desired need. However, respect is not something which comes simply by rising up the corporate ladder and acquiring a leadership role. A leader has to demonstrate certain traits and earn the respect of those down and up the line.
Getting respect can supercharge great performers for even better performance. It motivates them to maintain a minimum threshold and to always push the limits. Disrespect, on the other hand, whether for the leader or for any member of the team can cause a toxic environment and weaken relationships. This is a detrimental situation for the organization and the business.
Respect for the leader as well as other team members is equally important. It fosters a healthy work environment and acts as a source of motivation for the employees. Overall, this has a beneficial impact on the business – reduces relationship disturbances, improves the efficiency and productivity of employees. Respect does not come easy for anyone and has to be maintained with consistent behaviour and performance, otherwise, it can be easily lost.
An important mantra to gain respect is to show it to other people. As the popular maxim goes, “for whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Respect is commanded through positive action. A leader who demands it is usually the one who has failed to generate it organically.
Some of the positive actions that reinforce the respect commanded are as below:
- Be accountable: A leader who holds himself accountable for his/her actions, whether the results are good or bad, is usually held in high respect. In fact, a leader who holds himself accountable for the results of his entire team is cherished and respected by the team members.
- Take corrective action: Leaders are also human, they make mistakes. However, those leaders who can publicly accept their mistakes and take corrective action command the respect of all the employees and team members.
- Be adaptive to the environment: Movement within teams or companies is a constant in the lives of all professionals. Whether it is the leader who moves or whether it is the flux within the team, a leader must have an adaptive nature and must blend in the environment. However, in doing so the leader must not lose their own essence.
- Let people solve their problems: Perhaps one of the most important things a leader needs to do is handle problems of all the people in their team. It is quite natural that through skill and experience a leader may have a direct solution for a problem. But one must refrain from offering direct solutions. This has a two-pronged impact, one you allow your team member to push their limits and find their own solution and in the process gain respect in the team. Two, you give respect to the person by not shortchanging their struggle and in turn, gain their respect.
- Honor your team-mates: Honor and respect are two sides of the same coin. Honoring one’s team-mates for their work, irrespective of the results acts as a motivational technique and begets respect for the leader in return.
As such, respect is earned through positive reinforcement of the above actions. Most online leadership certificate programs have practical assignments for developing these skills.