Leadership has evolved from 20 years ago. A leader no longer automatically receives respect due to their title. Today’s workforce demands a new type of leader; one who is worthy of their trust and respect. Today’s employee needs proof that the person who is leading them is credible within their position. They also need to admire their leader’s accomplishments and traits in order to grant them respect. Think about someone who has been a role model of leadership in your life. What have they accomplished that inspired you to want to reach your full potential? What skills did they possess that made them a more credible leader? What traits did you admire about them? All of these qualities earned them your respect.
While interviewing top leaders around the nation, I discovered 6 ways they earn respect in the workplace.
1. Show confidence in your ability to lead.
Great leaders are confident, because they have developed their leadership skills. The skills you display will give you credibility with others, and the more credibility you have, the more respect you’ll have as well. The top 3 skills associated with being a successful leader are:
• People skills-The ability to connect, communicate and influence people who are different than you. (Learn more about developing your people skills here)
• Communication Skills- The ability to effectively communicate and motivate people to get the results you want.
• Coaching Skills- The ability to see someone’s potential and raise them to it. This has become a highly sought after skill in leaders in today’s workforce.
2. Don’t demand respect, EARN it.
Great leaders understand that your title doesn’t make you a leader; your character does. If you want respect, you need to start by showing respect to others and earn their respect in return. Be the type of person that people can depend on, that people trust and people want to follow and you will earn their respect in no time. Basically, be the type of leader you wish YOU worked for.
3. Listen to other’s ideas.
Repeat after me: Input = Buy In = Loyalty. The more input you get from your team members, the more buy in your get on your mission. This also increases the loyalty they give to achieve the goals you set for them. For instance:
- Ask them to come up with solutions to work issues.
- Ask them for creative ways to reach a goal.
- Ask them what they think is working or not working with your current system.
4. Remain humble.
If you have to tell everyone what a great leader you are, chances are, you’re not that great. Great leaders focus on adding value to others so that they feel valued within their team. Two ways to show others you value them are:
- Value others above yourself. On the John Maxwell Team we have a saying: “Success is what you do for yourself and Significance is what you do for others.” Meaning, when you help others reach their success, you, as the leader, will automatically become more significant. The focus of great leaders, however, is not on themselves, but in helping others.
- Share the credit with your team. “Anything great that has been accomplished began with an incredible team of people.” Think about it…putting the first man on the moon could never have been possible without the efforts of an entire team. Great leaders share credit where credit is due.
5. Lead by example.
I remember when managing at a Wynn property in Las Vegas, telling an employee to go help out another employee who got slammed with customers. I watched as she stood on the side waiting to be told how she could help. Then I watched as the General Manager took her by the hand and showed her how to help. Who made a bigger impact on the employee? The GM. Who had more respect for showing her how to meet their expectations? The GM. I realized at that moment that what I said wasn’t nearly as important as what I did. Something to remember, the first 6 months that you’re a leader, people respect what you say. After that, they respect what you do. Respect is earned through showing people how to meet your expectations. For instance:
- If you want your employees to show integrity, you must show it first.
- If you want your employees to work hard, you need to show them that you’re a hard worker.
- If you want people to display a positive attitude, show them how to keep it during adversities.
6. Communicate appreciation often.
Great leaders are constantly communicating their ideas, expectations, improvements that need to be made and most of all, they communicate their appreciation. The American Heart Association is known for being one of the top 5 companies to work for in the U.S. One of the reasons is due to the fact that they hold monthly “Appreciation Sessions” to show how much they value their employee’s hard work. Communication is the cornerstone of any successful business, and great leaders are constant communicators.
Gaining your employee’s respect will help you have more influence with them. You can start by applying the 6 ways top leaders gain respect in the workplace. Be the type of leader you wish you worked for and you will gain respect in no time.
LEARN IT. LIVE IT. LEND IT.
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