Harvard Business Review conducted a study of 20,000 employees and found that 54 percent said they don’t regularly get respect from their leaders. Listen—you’ll be busy, overwhelmed, and have a lot of people to help when you’re blessed to lead. However, whether you’re leading a team of three (in your home) or a team of 300,000, half of your people shouldn’t be left to feel like they aren’t respected. Showing respect as a leader is imperative.
And good leaders show respect to everyone. If you aren’t able to show respect as a leader, chances are, you aren’t a good leader. If you want to get respect from others, you’ve got to give respect to others. Here are 4 ways good leaders show respect.
1. Say thank you.
It’s simple, yet so many leaders go wrong by not doing it. There is power in saying the words “thank you.” Make sure you’re a leader who says thank you in every situation, to your wife and kids to the people you work with. Don’t be an ungrateful leader. The thankful leader encourages those around him and boosts morale just by saying these simple words. William Arthur Ward said, “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
Have you said “thank you” today?
2. Give credit where credit is due.
Have you ever worked with someone who stole all of the credit for a job well done? It’s tough to work with someone who doesn’t give proper credit. I’ve known leaders who quote the saying “you can get a lot done when you don’t mind who gets the credit”—only for those same leaders to always take the credit!
Often, the leader who doesn’t give credit where credit is due is the same leader who will take the credit when something good happens but won’t take responsibility for bad outcomes. Be the leader who takes the blame when things go wrong and the one who gives the credit for a job well done.
Have you given credit to someone who needs it today?
3. Help others advance.
As a leader, people will come to you with questions and need your advice. You have a powerful opportunity in front of you to help show respect in these times. One excellent way to do this simply is to ask those around you, “How can I help you?”
Even if the person you ask doesn’t think of something you can help with, you are still showing respect. I’d argue that if you spend years asking others how you can help, you won’t regret it. Simply showing interest in serving will reveal your respect to others. It’ll show them that you’re focused on their best interests.
When is the last time you looked ahead and offered help to someone before he or she asked?
4. Trust those around you to do what’s asked.
Another way to do this is to give others the freedom to do what they’ve been asked to do. A big sign of respect is when a leader shows trust in other people. Some people say it like this: “Tell the what and the why, but don’t give out the how.” The idea is to express your expectations as a leader, but let the people around you do their jobs. Don’t tell them how to do every single thing.
If we tell people how to do everything, we aren’t cultivating an environment where others can take initiative. Be careful not to squelch a culture of taking initiative by constantly barking how to do everything.
When asking for something, do you tell people how to do it?
What have you learned about showing respect as a leader from the leaders in your life? Share in a comment below.