It’s Okay If People Don’t Take You Seriously

Being Taken Seriously

While we all desire to be taken seriously, especially those of us leading teams, what happens if people don’t take us seriously? Is it a problem to struggle in this area? Will it derail your ability to lead?

These are all great questions. They’re questions that need to be answered.

Woman slouched against a wall

Photo by Eric Ward

Knowing how to be taken seriously will help you become a better, more trusted leader. When you’re not taken seriously, your ability to lead can suffer.

This may sound like I’m condemning the leaders who aren’t taken seriously. The ones whose teams can’t look them in the eye without laughing or smirking.

Maybe that’s you. Maybe it’s another leader you know. Either way, this is troubling.

But don’t fret. It’s okay if people don’t take you seriously. You’re not out of the running as a leader just because people fail to take you seriously. You can still lead… And lead well when you’re not taken seriously.

Why People Don’t Take You Seriously

The first thing you need to do is to figure out why your team and those around you aren’t taking you seriously. Is there an underlying issue that causes them to look at you as less than a leader?

There may be an issue you can quickly resolve. One where your level of competence rises in their eyes.

Seek out a solution. Figure out whether this is a you issue or a them issue.

This isn’t to pit you and your team against each other. This is a chance to figure out the underlying problem. Sometimes the problem will lay with you. This is a problem you can work to rectify.

Other times, the problem lies with your team. They may have an issue with authority. Maybe they’ve seen leaders come and go in your organization. This can create a respect issue between leaders and team members.

Try to find the root cause of why you’re not being taken seriously. This will open your eyes and give you a chance to solve the problem.

It’s Okay If People Don’t Take You Seriously

What if the problem isn’t you or your style of leadership? What does a leader who struggles to be taken seriously do then?

At some point, you will have to come to the conclusion it is okay to not be taken seriously. You can still lead well. The struggle may be harder but you can do it. I believe in you.

Not everyone will like or appreciate you. That’s okay.

Not everyone will listen to you. That’s okay.

Not everyone will follow a leader. That’s okay.

Not everyone will choose to do what’s right. That’s okay.

You can’t control those you lead. You can only gently guide them to the proper actions and respect.

The level of respect you’re given matters little. Your reaction to this is what matters.

Stand tall. Choose to be the bigger man. Lead strong.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.