Although there are many areas of life to earn respect, I want to focus on earning respect as a leader in your organization. Consider these questions:
What do you want to be respected for?
What would you like others to say at your retirement party about your contribution to the organization or the world?
What am I doing to earn that respect?
Have you set goals? Are you tracking them regularly? Are you doing your best each day to make progress on these goals?
Am I doing anything that will detract from earning respect?
If being known as an expert in your field is something you want, you diligently study and ply your skills. However, if you treat others in a disrespectful manner, are abrupt and appear rude, you will not achieve respect. Do you keep your commitments? Favour some team members? These behaviours may detract from having your skills respected. Remember the platinum rule: People want to be treated as they want to be treated, not how you think it is acceptable to treat them.
Do I expect respect because I have a title and authority?
Respect has to be earned. It does not happen on demand. If you want to be respected, you must respect others. This means recognizing and accepting those who have different skills and who behave differently.
Am I authentic in my relationships with people?
Am I walking the talk or am I trying to be someone that I am not? For instance, do I always agree with the person I report to, thinking I will earn respect?
Do I listen to other’s viewpoints with an open mind?
Am I genuine or are there times when my mind is already made up and I simply go through the motions of listening? Be honest, people know when their input is not registering.
Do I listen with empathy?
Walk in the other’s shoes to understand how they are feeling. Avoid dismissing their concerns and feelings?
Do I provide timely, honest feedback on performance, both positive aspects and areas for enhancement?
A leader who gives good feedback will always gain respect, and it is one thing that is often lacking in organizations.
Do I keep my commitments?
If I cannot keep a commitment do I communicate this clearly and in advance? A leader who does not keep commitments will inevitably experience an erosion of trust and diminished respect.
Are my decisions based on what is good for me or what will be good for the team?
Will your actions be judged as “all about you”? Are you I-Centric or We-Centric?
Answer these questions honestly, and then consider what actions to take. Choose to set behaviour goals and focus on them for 30 days. You will see a difference. You will start to earn respect in the areas you choose.