Gaining The Respect Of Those You Lead

Being Taken Seriously

Many leaders want to be super serious so they can be taken seriously. They believe the more they have a hard-nosed, get it done at any cost type of attitude, the more they’ll be respected.

This line of thinking is wrong. You don’t gain the respect of your team by being hard-nosed. You also don’t gain respect by having a get it done at any cost type of attitude.

Man wearing a shirt saying respect. Standing in front of a leaf background

Photo by Tiago Felipe Ferreira

There’s a better, more efficient way of gaining respect. One you can do without completely alienating the ones you lead.

But how do you gain the respect of those you lead without demanding respect? You follow what I’ll share today.

Gaining The Respect Of Those You Lead

Great leaders know they can’t push people around and expect them to be respected. Rather, great leaders know they can do a select few activities and be respected.

What does it take to be a respected it? Respected leaders:

  • Seek to be servants: Great leaders know leadership and teamwork isn’t about them. Rather, leadership and teams are about the people they are serving. The ones who are doing the hard work and getting things done. They are able to see their teammates as humans and they look to serve them. Seek to be a servant leader.
  • Seek to understand: Great leaders know people have personal issues that seep into the workplace. Try as you might, personal problems don’t stay at home. They’re personal and they follow the person they’re affecting around. Be understanding of the personal issues your team members are facing. They don’t mean to bring their issues to work but it happens. Look for ways to work with your team members when they’re having personal problems.
  • Seek to be present: Great leaders know they can’t be absent from their teams and still be respected. Your team wants to know you are there and you care. You can’t do this by hiding behind a door or never being available to your team. Find ways to be present with your team. This may be through a Skype meeting, weekly check-in, or a regular lunch. Your team members desire you to be present. Be present.
  • Seek to help others advance: This is different than seeking to be a servant leader. This one looks to ways you can help those you lead advance. More than likely, your team members don’t want to stay in an entry-level position. At least I hope they don’t. Rather, they want to move up the ladder. They can do that with your help and guidance or they can look at opportunities in other organizations. Great leaders know that by helping their team members find new opportunities and advancements in their current organization, they can keep great employees and earn respect.
  • Seek to praise: Great leaders are able to see great workers. When they see people doing great work, they know they are to praise those workers. People are hungry for praise. They want to be recognized when they do great work. Be a leader who shouts the praises of their team members. Not only will this encourage them, but it will also help you become respected.
  • Seek to be truthful: I’ve worked in organizations where people were not honest. They would do anything to get ahead, including bending the truth or flat out lying. Do you think these people were respected? Maybe to their face but behind their backs? People would talk negatively about their two-faced actions. To be respected, you need to be a truthful leader.

Question: What other ways can you think of to gain the respect of those you lead? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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