We all want respect in our lives. Self-respect – and the respect of others, especially those who we look to for leadership and direction. After all why would anyone willingly follow someone who they don’t respect or feel respected by?
It all sounds like common sense but in our busy, challenging lives it can be very easy to forget to show respect – not deliberately of course but just something that slips of our agenda. So we want to put RESPECT back onto the leadership agenda with some quick reminders and practical actions that can help you to make this a daily leadership habit.
When planning this blog I did a quick search to see what others were saying about this topic. What I found was lots of articles from big name business schools and leadership experts – all with one focus; ‘How can leaders earn the respect of their people?’
I’d like to turn this on its head and instead focus on how leaders can show their respect of others. The reason for this is partly ethical but also very rational because failure to do so will have an immediate impact on performance.
For instance, recent neuroscience research shows that being treated with respect and being treated as a valued member of the organisation can have a greater impact on individual motivation and performance than more tangible rewards such as financial incentives. And unlike financial incentives it is something that can be done each day and every day and is totally within your personal control.
So in a typical week there will be many, many opportunities to show your respect for others. Here are some that immediately come to mind…
- Share the leadership of team meetings with others- trust others to chair and manage the process. Shows respect, gives opportunities to develop meeting skills and allows you to step back and join in without taking the lead
- Start by focussing on recent achievements and success stories
- Make sure the meeting format allows time for each team member to be heard – especially for the quieter members who may need a clear space to speak rather than joining in automatically
- Show that you are truly interested in hearing the opinions of each team member – whatever their experience or seniority
121 & Coaching discussions
- Be proactive and schedule 121 discussions regularly. And think long and hard before you think about cancelling them!
- Focus on questions and letting the other person decide the agenda for coaching
- Listen – really listen and show them that you are listening
- Having identified a development area as them to rate themselves on a scale of 1-10. Wherever they rate themselves first ask what have they already done well to help them to get to that rating? Use this information to plan the next step i.e. getting one point higher on the rating scale
- Respect means giving clear, specific praise both for results as well as effort
- It also means being prepared to have the more difficult conversations – and as early as possible so that they have a chance to take action and get things back on track
- Don’t save everything until the formal discussion – both praise and re-direction needs to be as soon as possible so that there should be no surprises in a performance review
In the corridor and on the run!
- Whether a member of your own team or not …make real eye contact – perhaps even a smile or a hello as you pass colleagues in the corridor
- Try to find time to catch up with team members individually – even if it is a short ‘How are things going?’ at their desk rather than at your desk
- Look for opportunities to join the team for a coffee or lunch where the conversation is not about work but just an chance to connect as human beings with interests and a life outside of work
And finally, don’t forget the old adage…’Respect breeds respect’ and just to reinforce the message please enjoy the another voice on the subject of R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Watch out for our next Leadership blog inspired by the conversations which we have with our colleagues and the lessons which they teach the team at Greenbank.
Sign up to receive our regular bulletins with links to our latest blogs and more hints and tips for personal and team performance improvement.Subscribe now
Find out how we can help develop your leadership ability, drive sales growth and achieve your business goals.Get in touch