One challenge many leaders face is gaining the respect of those they lead. This can be a challenge for leaders at all stages of their career whether they are brand new or seasoned leaders. Respect is fundamental to being a good leader because it allows you to have influence. When leaders cannot gain respect, it is very difficult for them to get people to do things. On the flip side, however, a leader that gains respect from those they lead, is able to build unity, trust, and camaraderie with those they lead.
So what qualities lead to respect? What can you focus your improvement activities on so that you can gain the respect of those you lead. Below you will find five qualities that you can focus on to improve respect that people have for you.
In leadership, there area many rules and regulations that you must follow on a regular basis. The rules and regulations come from company policies and procedures; federal, state, and local laws; and industry standards and ethical codes. As a leader, it essential that you do all you can to follow all the rules and regulations that go along with your business or industry.
When you are obedient, you follow all the rules to the best of your ability. You do not cut corners when it comes to the rules because you know it is not right and leads to problems down the road. When you make your decisions, they are always within the confines of the rules.
Consistency is extremely important as a leader. When you are consistent, you deal with each employee the same way every time. You do not treat one person different than another because (s)he is your friend or you like them more or less than others. You also handle similar situations in the same fashion. When you are consistent, you will also be seen as someone that is fair. Consistency, fairness, and obedience go hand in hand in leadership.
When you are a leader, you must keep on top of your industry. You need to know what is going on, what new trends are developing in your industry, the challenges/threats that your industry faces, and other relevant issues within your industry. By know what is going on, you can keep yourself relevant. You can stay on top of changes and keep your company within your intended market. When you fail to maintain relevancy, you begin to lose the respect of your competitors and, in some cases, your employees and supporters. Maintaining relevancy is very important in an ever-changing business environment.
When you lead others, you must be sincere to gain their respect. One of the quickest ways I have seen people lose the respect of others has been through insincerity. The sincere leaders tell you the truth all the time and you know that what they say is what they mean. They also genuinely care when they ask for your opinion. Leaders can develop sincerity by thinking with an empathetic and sympathetic perspective.
Honesty goes hand in hand with sincerity. When you are honest, you are sincere. Honesty is the best policy and leaders should do all they can to maintain their honesty. When leaders are honest, they gain the trust and respect of those they lead because people know that they will not get dishonest answers. In order to maintain your honesty, you can tell people things like, “I am sorry but I can’t tell you anymore at this time because it would be a breach of confidentiality.” You can also say, “I cannot discuss this matter at this time.” There are other things that you can say to avoid having to lie. To maintain your honesty, you should also not allow yourself to state half-truths.
As you develop the qualities of obedience, consistency, relevancy, sincerity, and honesty, you will gain the respect of those you lead. They will develop trust and respect for you as a leader because they will know that you tell the truth and are involved with what is happening in the industry.
What other qualities have helped you to gain respect from those you lead? Also, what qualities have allowed you to respect your leaders? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!