Success as a leader can rarely be achieved operating on your own in a vacuum. You need to have a team of people to support you, your vision and translate your vision into results. Being respected is one of the most important things you need to have to win support and achieve results. So what can you do to gain more respect as a leader?
1. Be consistent
One of the qualities that people find difficult is lack of consistency. You might well have come across that type of leader who swings from one extreme to the other depending on what side of bed you got out off. Being a leader is not always about being right all of the time but people will be much more understanding if you are consistent.
2. Be respectful of others
Respect, even for a leader is not a right, it needs to be earned. One of the easiest ways of doing this is to be respectful of others. You can do this by listening more, by starting to understand different perspectives or points of views and by thinking in advance about the impact of something you plan to say or do.
3. Praise regularly
Praise is the least expensive way of motivating people in an organisation, yet surprisingly many leaders forget about this free resource and instead spend thousands in improving motivation. Make a habit of praising people for achievements and for trying something new and challenging.
4. Don’t lose sight of the shop floor
As a busy leader, it is all too easy to become pre-occupied with the strategic stuff and to lose sight of what it is really like on the shop floor. Make a point of going out and spending time at the coal face and being visible. It will massively impact on how others see you.
5. Help others achieve
Those that you lead have things that they want to achieve in their career. Some leaders do a great job at making the time and effort to help others achieve, while others give it little or no consideration. Make a point of finding out what those that you lead want to achieve and look for ways to help them to do it. A simple example is offering to be their mentor.
6. Know yourself
We all have certain behaviours and attributes. Some of these are positive and some are negative. Take the time to consider what behaviours and attributes you have and how they might impact on others.
7. Take responsibility for failures and share successes
Leaders that are successful long term and who are respected take responsibility when things go wrong and look to give credit to others when successes are achieved. If you want to be respected put this characteristic close to the top of your leadership traits.
Bottom line – Respect is not something that is a right. It is something that is earned. So what will you do next to earn more respect as a leader?
By Bryan Oliver