As a leader, it can be tough to know where to draw the line between getting along with your employees and getting them to work productively. And respect is one of the main factors in being able to do both. If you’re starting to notice signs that your staff doesn’t respect you, it’s probably time to re-evaluate your leadership skills and take the proper steps to correct them.
One of the most important traits of a good leader is authenticity. You should be showing your employees respect and caring about them as people. But if you can’t be authentic when doing so, they will see right through it. Some of the ways to be an authentic leader include being clear about your purpose, having solid values, being extremely disciplined, and inspiring with passion.
One of the fastest ways to lose your employees’ respect is by being inconsistent. This could mean changing rules to fit your situations. Or it could mean that you don’t hold yourself accountable to the same code of conduct. For example, don’t punish your staff for being late to meetings if you always show up late yourself. And don’t scold one employee for taking too long of a break, but let another get away with it every day.
Give them room to grow
As the late Steve Jobs once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” In other words, cut out the micromanaging. It’s OK to give people directions and help them learn their jobs. But allow them to make the jobs their own. If you didn’t trust them to be proficient in their work, you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place.
As abstract as it sounds, one of the fastest ways to earn respect from employees is by showing them they’re appreciated. You can do so by recognizing hard work and achievements in front of other staff members. And you can also learn to spot their strengths, even when you’re correcting their weaknesses. This lets them know you are not threatened by their achievements and that you are always in their corner to help them succeed.
Learn to effectively handle conflict
Don’t be the boss who participates in company gossip. If someone comes to you with an issue with another employee, act to resolve it quickly. Let the complainant know he or she is heard without joining in. And always be as straightforward as possible. This might mean letting your staff members know that if they have an issue with someone, they’ll both be called in to clear it up. Or it might mean getting both sides of the story separately and making a firm but fair decision about how to handle it.
Always be professional
Professionalism is key to gaining respect with anyone you work with. And one of the areas that some people tend to lack professionalism is communication. It’s usually unintentional, but how you communicate with your staff can either make you appear like you know what you’re doing, or it can make them think you’re undereducated. One thing you can do if this is a weak area for you is hire the most reliable writing service to polish your correspondence. You can enlist their help for presentations, formal communication, or company research to help you maintain a professional appearance.
Be the kind of boss whose word is solid. If you tell your employees you’ll do something, get it done. And likewise, don’t tell them you’ll do something unless you have every intention of doing it. Employees have little respect for the boss who says he’ll talk to corporate about their raises, for instance, and never follows through.