Power, fame, gold, glory: leaders want all of this, but these things do not make a leader successful. The only thing that can make someone enjoy legitimacy of power and position and respect. Without respect, leaders have no leg to stand on. So how do leaders earn respect?
Leadership is showing authority, but also compassion. It is about showing superior character, but also flexibility. Leadership is showing strength, while also being proud of one’s vulnerability. When leaders are authentic and follow the highest standards of morals and ethics, they automatically become worthy of respect.
If you have recently become a leader in your organization, and you are finding it difficult to earn respect, here is everything you need to know.
15 Ways to Earn the Highest Respect as a Leader
1. Give Respect, Regardless of Someone’s Station
The foundation of great leadership is embedded in giving and earning respect. However, the best thing about earning leadership is that it can not be demanded. You can neither buy it, nor compel somebody to give you respect.
All you can do is give respect to others and earn some in return. However, there is a catch. Most leaders will give more respect to their counterparts and associates, and almost none to people who are at the bottom of the hierarchy. Leaders who make that distinction can never truly earn respect.
2. Practice an Open Door Policy
The world has changed. People want their leaders to be approachable. Gone are the times when leaders could simply sit back in their rooms and have no open channel of communications.
Now, great leaders who want to be respected and liked, adopt an open-door policy. This allows their employees, both old and new, from approaching them easily and communicating them without any fears.
3. Forgive and Forget Others Mistakes
Leaders who adopt a fear-based leadership style seldom forgive and forget. They are ruthless in their punishments and do not believe in giving second chances. Such leaders often lose the respect of others. This is because everyone wants to be treated like humans.
Everyone makes mistakes. Leaders who refuse to let go of other people’s petty mistakes and fixate on their shortcomings never lead their teams to greatness.
4. Take Accountability for Your Actions
Talk of the famous leaders of history, and you will notice that even the greatest and the wisest of men and women made mistakes from time to time. Even after contemplating their decisions, there were still times when they failed miserably.
Making mistakes is not an issue, however, how you deal with those mistakes can be an issue. If you try to shift blame and do not take accountability for your actions, you will forever lose the respect of your team members.
5. Be Authentic and Consistent
Authenticity and consistency go hand in hand. You can not have one without the other. This is because individuals who are authentic and true to themselves will not need to put on a façade. You can be consistently honest, have integrity and never have to lie.
Leaders who show consistency, even when things go south, tend to be revered by their team members and their colleagues.
6. Lead by Example
Another thing that is common in all great and respectful leaders is that they lead by example. Rather than commanding others to do certain things and not staying true to the word, they walk the talk and set the right example for everyone who is looking up to them.
By doing this, these leaders are able to set the mood and the right atmosphere for the entire team. They are also able to create a non-toxic office environment for everyone involved.
7. Exhibit Confidence
It is a truth universally acknowledged that individuals who are confident and are sure of themselves tend to be respected more. Others do not question their authority, nor do they question their skill set.
This is why, even if you are someone who does not feel very sure of themselves, it is necessary that you learn the art of exhibiting confidence where necessary. Luckily for you, Best Diplomats can help you do that.
8. Take Ownership of Failures
No individual that has wanted to do big and miraculous things in their life has been able to do it in one go. Almost every leader has had to face some failures in life. This is not a bad thing; quite the contrary, actually. Learning from failure helped these leaders do better next time and transcend beyond their limitations.
So, if you want to be truly respectable, it is important you recognize your mistakes and take ownership of your mistakes. This will help make you more relatable among your teammates.
9. Share the Wins
When things go south, leaders have a tendency to either shift or share the blame. However, they do the complete opposite when there is a win. Most leaders will take credit for the wins and give very less incentive to their team to grow and prosper.
A good team leader knows how important it is to celebrate the little wins in life. Throw a small party, take your team out for lunch, or simply hand over some additional bonuses. Even the smallest amount of recognition can make them happy.
10. Coach and Mentor Others
Leaders have an inherent responsibility of coaching and mentoring others. When they shy away from this responsibility, they are unable to stay true to the essence of leadership.
If you want others to respect and obey you, make sure you share your wisdom, your teachings and your life lessons with them. This knowledge sharing will help make them see you in a better light.
11. Listen and be Concerned
Some leaders are so obsessed with speaking all the time, they hardly listen. And if history has taught us anything, it is that listening should take precedence over speaking. People who are attentive tend to be liked and appreciated.
But the responsibility of a leader does not end there. Leaders also need to be concerned about others, especially regarding their team members. Leaders that help fix the problems of their team members tend to be liked and even loved by their employees.
12. Give Validation for Good Behavior
This may seem like an obvious behavior, but you would be surprised to know just how rarely leaders validate good behavior. This could be due to two reasons. It could either be that leaders do not feel secure in their leadership and tend to be hesitant when giving praise.
The other, more common, reason could be that leaders are unaware just how important giving validation is. In either case, if you are somebody who does not validate good behavior, it is about time you start doing it.
13. Stick To Your Word
A leader is as good as their words. Once a sentence leaves your mouth, it should be set in stone, unless it is something bad. In the latter case, you should take responsibility and make amends quickly.
People who are generally consistent with their speech are liked more. Additionally, if your speech and action align, that is cherry on top.
14. Give Constructive Feedback
There is an old saying that goes: people hate feedback. However, that is only the half-truth. People generally hate feedback when it is done to ridicule or criticize them.
When you give constructive feedback; feedback that is meant to help them grow, it is well appreciated. When others see that you want the best for them, they will automatically feel inclined towards you.
15. Gel in From Time to Time
No one expects you to be a buddy to your employees. In some cases, that can make you lose your authority and make others be lousy in their behavior.
However, an adequate amount of gelling is good for your office culture. It not only makes you relatable, but also helps paint you in a much more favorable light.
Also read: 7 Significant Indicators of Helicopter Leadership
How to Make Leaders Like You?
1. Create a Personal Connection
Leaders are often too eager to get results, that they forget the basics. One of the first things in leadership assimilation is that leaders try to create a personal connection with their employees. This does not mean that leaders should spend all their time getting to know each employee. It simply means that leaders should treat their employees as significant humans rather than just numbers on a sheet. Doing the latter certainly gets them respect.
2. Do not Pick Your Favorites
It is natural to be drawn to people with similar mindset, beliefs and vision. Leaders can make the mistake of picking favorites; prioritizing one employee over the other. Even if this does not translate into any tangible benefit for the chosen employee, it certainly creates animosity in the office culture and makes other employees feel less important.
3. Be Attentive
Whether it is someone talking to you or sharing their concern, it is important that you are attentive and do not try to dismiss them during conversation. Additionally, pay attention to the mood of the office. If you sense some hostility and animosity between individuals and teams, be the peacemaker and try to fix it. This will certainly make them like you better.
Also read: How to Enhance Your Technical Leadership Skills
How to Become a Respectable Leader With Best Diplomats?
Regardless of how many skills you have developed over the years, unless you learn to excel at people skills, all your other skills become redundant. In the world engulfed by social media apps, human connectivity is limited. This has made people lack interpersonal skills. However, there is still time to fix all that. All you have to do is join a good Leadership program.
Best Diplomats offers you a holistic program that will not only hone your leadership skills, but also make you a much more grounded and likable person. You will get to meet people from all around the world and practice the subtle art of effective communication. Additionally, you will be able to increase your networks, so you can have a loyal group of friends and colleagues to help you maneuver through your leadership journey.
If you say the right things and do the right things, rest assured that you will not have to demand respect; it will fall onto your lap automatically. But there is a catch: you can not put on a façade and expect others to not see through it. In order to earn respect as a leader, you will have to make some real-life changes in your personality. For starters, you will have to work on your behavior so that everything you say and do is aligned with each other.
With commitment and focus, you can soon incorporate all these things in your life and become a leader that everyone respects, likes, and even loves. And isn’t that the dream?
Why Is It Important to Earn Respect?
All the successful leaders in the world will tell you how important it is to earn the respect of your colleagues, your associates and your juniors. Respect can automatically transfer into compliance and obedience. But the good thing about this type of compliance is that it is not forceful and is not brought on through coercion.
Is Respect Important for Success?
It depends on how you define success. For most people, it is important that they do not just have a position, but they also have legitimacy. Leaders who are respected tend to be acknowledged as great leaders. Rather than them having to demand respect, they get it naturally. That is definitely a recipe for long term success.
Are Powerful Leaders Always Respected?
You may think that powerful leaders are always respected, but that is not the case. Power has almost no correlation with true respect. Your employees or your followers may create a façade of respecting you, however, this respect only comes through fear and intimidation. When there is a true superiority of character, respect for leaders comes naturally.
Which Leadership Style Is Respected the Most?
Leaders who are inclusive, participative and include others in the decision-making process often tend to be respected the most. Others, the ones that adopt a fear based leadership style, are often shunned and criticized for not being worthy of any respect.