Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Respect and leadership go hand-in-hand. Effective leaders base their leadership on respect and trust. However, those who have honed their leadership skills know it’s not just about garnering respect from your employees; respect truly is a two-way street.

What is Respect?

According to Merriam-Webster, you respect someone when you hold them in high regard or esteem. People you respect are people you admire either for their accomplishments, their knowledge and/or their position. Those you respect have some quality you find valuable.

Why is Respect So Important to Effective Leadership?

To understand why respect is so important to effective leadership, let’s take a look at the primary difference between “managers” and “leaders.”

  • Managers tell employees what to do.

  • Leaders inspire employees to take actions.

 People will not willingly follow or be inspired by a person they do not respect. If someone doesn’t feel you have the knowledge or other qualities they should value, and even emulate, why would they follow your lead, unless their was some other incentive (a paycheck) or punishment (loss of a job)? They wouldn’t!

Effective Leaders Give Respect to Get Respect

Although your employees may respect you for what you’ve accomplished or even simply because of your position, that respect will be short-lived if they feel you have little to no respect for them! Think about it for a moment.

If your boss didn’t value your opinion, appreciate the hard work you do, or didn’t acknowledge the experience and expertise you bring to your position, it would be very hard for you to respect them. You’d likely begin to question their competence, if they couldn’t see your value. It’s not surprising that you’d lose respect for them.

3 Ways You Can Build Respect from Your Employees, by Showing Respect

  1. Make yourself available. Leaders who are accessible show that they care about their employees and their thoughts and opinions. Take this beyond the typical “open door policy” and actively seek out your employees for face time.

  2. Instruct what to do, not how to do it. Show your employees you trust their judgment in coming up with the best course of action in how to complete a task. Doing so, shows them you respect their opinion and expertise.

  3. Address concerns in a timely manner. Listening to the concerns of your employees and taking them seriously shows you respect their thoughts and concerns. This builds trust your employee has in you.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.