Leadership Qualities (Series 1, 10/100): Respect

Why is respect important for leaders?

Leadership and respect go hand in hand. If you respect people around you they will respect you back. If a relationship is founded on respect, it will grow into a trust. A trusted and respected leader is an effective leader.

To earn respect, you have to give it first. As a leader, you don’t wait for things to happen, you take the lead and you make them happen, right? You see yourself as a leader, this is why it’s important to start acting like an effective one. The more you respect people, the more you are respected back. It’s a simple life’s principle, the more you give the more you receive.

And of course, we can’t give something that we don’t have. So self-respect is the starting point. If someone isn’t able to respect himself, is it possible to respect others? Probably not.

So how can someone respect themselves more? He can start by accepting his past, with all the failures and the mistakes. He stops running away from his past. He acknowledges that his past is a part of his journey, he learns the mistakes and moves on.

He can discover himself more, his needs, challenges and desires. He respects every aspect of his life, physical, mental and spiritual and of course thrives to grow in each area.

He invests in himself, he educates himself, he rewards himself after each achievement.

So those are few tips to start the self-respect process.

How to earn respect of your subordinates?

You can create a climate of respect.

When you create a place where people are enthusiastic and passionate about their work, they are consistently doing their best, they are growing as individuals, it means you are helping them to raise their standards. You are giving them the opportunity to improve and become a better version of themselves.

Your interaction with them should be personal, anticipated and relevant.

Personal: you know a about someone’s desires, challenges, you help them achieve their goals and overcome their hurdles.

Anticipated: they wait for your next speech in the conference room, for your next email, for your next professional surprise.

Relevant: You know exactly where they want to go personally and professionally, and you provide them with the tools, knowledge, and support so they can get there faster.

2 qualities are really important. Honesty and integrity.

To be honest, is to say what you mean and you mean what you say.

To act with integrity, means you are going to do what you said, at the exact time that you announced.

Be simple in your communication. Why make the conversation complex when you can make it simple and short. The quicker you can get to the point the better. If there’s something sensible that you need to address to your subordinate, you can use simple techniques like the Criticism Sandwich. First, you start by something nice, then you tell the reality and what should be done, then you end with something nice.

exp. “Hey John, thank you for coming early this morning, I really appreciate your hard work. Regarding the last meeting we had, you promised that you will pay attention to how you are communicating by emails with your colleague, I feel it stills a bit dry, how can I help you improve?… Thank you again, John, I am really impressed by your work ethics and I wish I can find someone as committed as you are”.

Communication is important.

Not only the words that you say but also how you say them. Do you respect someone who is speaking with you but not looking in your eyes or at least facing you? Let’s say you are having a conversation with your co-founder and he is continuously looking to his phone. What does this mean to you?

He doesn’t respect the conversation, he doesn’t respect my time, there’s something more important on his phone…

So body language is important as much as the words that are used.

What your subordinates need is to feel heard and understood. So if you take your time, listen actively to them, give them all your attention, understand them, they will definitely respect you as a leader. The more they respect you, the more they trust you, and the more effective you are with the change that you are leading.

I hope you gained some new insights from this blog post around respect for leaders.

Thank you for reading,

Don’t forget to share with me, your best takeway from this read.

All the best,

Elie Abboud,

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