In order to be a good leader, respect is essential. Don’t take it for granted that your status will automatically earn you the respect of your colleagues, as it is something that must be earned over time, and without it, it’s likely that you will have little authority and your colleagues will feel less inclined to place their trust in your ability to lead the team.
If you are relatively new to a leadership role, it can be difficult to earn this respect; especially if you are a similar age to your staff or even younger. Luckily, you don’t need to be perfect to gain respect from your colleagues, it just takes a little consideration and self-awareness. Here are 8 small ways that you can earn respect as a leader.
1: Respect your staff
It works both ways. In order for your team to respect you, you must, in turn, show them that you respect them too. Getting to know individuals on a personal level, as well as professionally, will show that you appreciate them and will improve work relationships.
2: Adopt a positive attitude
Negativity will only gain you a reputation as the “bad boss” who everyone wants to avoid! Plus it can have an incredibly detrimental effect on employee productivity, so it is important to maintain a positive attitude to keep your team motivated and onside.
3: Own up to your own mistakes
Mistakes happen; we’re all human after all. If you slip up, at least have the courage to own up to your mistake and make the required steps to rectify it. Your team will respect you more for it and it will set a good example for what you would expect from them in a similar situation.
4: Forgive others’ mistakes
As I said before, mistakes happen, but it’s not the end of the world. If a member of your team makes an error be forgiving and allow them the opportunity to resolve it. You want to encourage people to step outside of their comfort zone and think creatively, so mistakes are part and parcel of entering new territory.
5: Have an open-door policy
It’s important that your employees feel like they can come to you with issues or when they need help, so make sure that they know that you are always available for them. If you are out of the office a lot, at least make sure that you are contactable via email or phone.
6: Listen to employees
When your employees come to you give them your undivided attention and really listen to what they have to say. If they make suggestions try to take them on board where possible, or at least give it some proper consideration and work to resolve their issue.
7: Be personable
You don’t have to be best friends with your employees, but to earn their respect you must at least be approachable and pleasant towards them. It’s possible to build a positive and amicable relationship with your team without losing authority and employees like to see the human side of their boss too!
Bonus: Recognize good work
Employees want to feel like their hard work is being appreciated, or they are likely to become demotivated. If someone is doing a particularly good job, let them know that you’ve noticed and reward it when necessary.