Very often, the word “respect” is associated with leaders, as in, “That person is a respected leader in the community.”
But there are two particularly important things to note with regard to this concept.
One is that leaders are responsible for earning that respect. It is not inherent to the position, as many would believe. It is earned by daily actions that earn the trust of your team, actions that demonstrate that the words you say are the words you live. If there is a difference, your team will notice. In our Leader’s Ladder workshops, we share how having a title is only the first rung of leadership. Respect and legacy are much higher levels of leadership. These levels are cultivated over time and rooted in trust.
The other aspect of respect that gets lost in today’s commoditized workplace is the importance of respecting your team for their strengths and contribution to organizational success.
Here are some examples of what NOT to do.
1. You meet with only certain members of your team. Everyone else knows they are outsiders of the core team you meet with all the time.
While those outsiders could bring great value to the conversations, they are never included. Instead, you come out of the meetings and start randomly throwing out tasks with no forewarning and no connection to the bigger picture.
The message this sends to your team is that they are simply doers of tasks, not contributors to a cause.
2. You have team members who go above and beyond what is expected. But instead of sincerely acknowledging their efforts, you take them for granted and pile on even more. Then, when they are overwhelmed by the load, you ask, “Why isn’t all this done yet?”
The message this sends to your team is that they are being used to build a business, not valued for their passion and contribution.
3. You feel you must manage every aspect of the work, so instead of collaborating with your team to determine who can lead a project, you dictate every step of what must be done, when, and how.
The message this sends to your team is that they cannot possibly think for themselves and that you are the boss.
Is it any wonder that one of the most common issues leaders have is a disengaged team?
Take note of your words and actions this month.
- In your interactions with your team, are you showing respect?
- Are you building trust by ensuring that your actions and words are congruent?
- Are you developing leaders or treating your team members like commodities?
- Are you sharing projects or delegating tasks?
- Are you giving your people opportunities to grow, solve problems, and contribute to the bigger picture?
These are serious and important considerations, the kind that make the difference between being a boss or being a leader. True leaders give and gain respect.
Watch the video below for a good discussion on the differences between a boss and a leader.
Dave Ferguson is “The Leaders’ Coach”, an internationally recognized executive leadership coach, speaker, facilitator, and author. Are you interested in talking to Dave about coaching or having Dave speak to inspire and motivate your team? “ASK COACH DAVE” at 704-907-0171 or at Dave@AskCoachDave.com.