When in a leadership position, it is important to navigate the role with dignity and authority. Behaving in such a way that employees, colleagues, and partners respect you is imperative. For new leaders or those who simply want to polish their tacts, learning how you can effectively earn respect as a leader can make a difference in workplace productivity and culture.
Leaders who want to earn respect must take responsibility for their actions as well as their attitudes. Regardless of your industry or business, showing passion for your work is key. Employees are more likely to respect a leader who is actively engaged in the business’ mission as well as the work of each individual contributor. While it would be unreasonable for a leader to acknowledge every individual, leaders should still strive to offer recognition where it is due, especially as it relates to company success. A passionate attitude can improve morale and encourage respect.
A leader who wavers in making decisions is one who cannot be trusted. Employees and business partners look to leaders to be decisive and confident in guiding a business, and even if a leader lacks experience, they should still present their decisions with confidence. Failing to adopt a confident attitude, especially when dealing with employees who answer to you, will result in an atmosphere of uncertainty and indecision which is unproductive.
Good leaders should strive to model optimal behavior. Having a strong work ethic is especially important. Leaders who are dedicated to their work and set high standards of performance by adhering to such rules themselves will promote a productive workplace and command more respect from employees who share values of hard work and determination.
Perhaps worse than an unmotivated leader is an arrogant one. Mistakes are common, even among the most experienced and influential leaders, and failing to own up to mistakes will promote distrust and tension among employees. The easiest way to earn respect from employees is to gracefully admit errors when they occur. Shouldering the blame when it is appropriate to do so is also beneficial. Employees are more inclined to trust and respect a leader who is flawed and tactful than a leader who cannot accept criticism or their own failures.
Respect is valuable. Leaders should strive to appeal to employees and business partners by upholding the values of effective leadership and continuously aiming to improve.