Being a leader is difficult on its own. What makes the job even harder is when your employees do not respect you. Respect in the workplace is one of the most important aspects of creating a healthy, motivational work environment. But how does one earn that respect? If you are in a leadership position, you have no doubt earned that spot through your hard work, determination and intellect. Sometimes, however, it takes more to be a respected leader. Here are a few tips on earning that crucial respect.
Be open and honest
Let’s face it: as a leader, not everything that happens to the company can be shared. Sometimes, there are issues that arise or company information that can not be disclosed to every single employee. That being said, there are certain pieces of information that can be mentioned and talked about. Obviously, use your best judgement to determine what can and can not be shared, but do not be afraid to keep employees in the loop. By keeping information from them, they feel that there is a lack of trust, and a lack of trust can absolutely destroy any prospect of respect. Just keep this question in mind: “Why would anybody respect somebody that they do not trust?”
Admit when you are wrong
Again, if you are a leader, you’re probably well-versed in the ways of your company’s workings, and you know what to say and do. Unfortunately, we are all human beings, and we all make mistakes. If you’ve ever taken a risk on a new project or strategy, and it has failed, acknowledge it. This ties in to being open and honest with your employees. Letting your team know that your idea was not successful shows them that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions, which can then result in a certain amount of respect.
Take suggestions and listen to your employees
Going off of the previous entry, when you admit that an idea of yours did not work, open the floor to suggestions. If you notice that your strategy did not work, and you are out of thoughts, ask your team for ideas. This creates a sense of inclusion and will not only make your employees respect you more, but it will show them that you respect their opinions and thoughts. Also, make sure to positively respond to their ideas. Even if you have another idea of your own, ask your employees anyways. You never know, they might be able to provide information or insight that you may not have thought of.
It may seem obvious, but sometimes we can forget. It is important to show respect to your employees ideas, feelings and beliefs. If your employees feel respected, then you will be respected. As the old adage goes, “You’ve got to give respect to earn it.”