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5 Dos and Don’t for How to Lead with Respect

To gain respect, we must first give it. Respectful leadership takes us back to the basics. It is carrying ourselves with decency and treating others how they want to be treated. So, how do we lead with respect? Gregg Ward, author of The Respectful Leader: Seven Ways To Influence Without Intimidation, shares the dos and don’ts of respectful leadership: 

DO…

1. Be the first to respect. Respect is contagious. If leaders go out of their way to treat others with respect first, the people on the receiving end feel good because they were treated well. Those who receive this, then go on to treat others with respect. It is very powerful and infectious. This generates a culture of respect within the team and those who do not act respectfully will stand out and either modify their behavior or be pushed out. Holding people accountable for respectful behaviors generates productivity and partnerships. This does not mean that everyone walks on eggshells, it means that everyone follows the agreed-upon respectful norms. This behavior welcomes diversity and collaboration. 

2. Address disrespect immediately. Nipping disrespect in the bud early on is not always easy or comfortable. Molehills can become mountains quickly if disrespectful behaviors, even minor ones, are not addressed early on. As a leader, disrespectful behaviors can be addressed with what Gregg calls the SBI technique, which stands for situation, behavior, impact. For example, if an employee is consistently interrupting other team members during a meeting, after the meeting the leader should address this behavior noting the context, the behavior noticed, and the perceived impact of this behavior. Next, a request should be made for future behavior and how the team member can be held accountable. Defensiveness is normal in this stage, so empathy is vital from the leader. Additionally, these conversations should be private unless the entire group is involved in disrespectful behavior. 

3. Use a full-apology approach. If members on a team perceive the actions of the leader to be disrespectful, the same SBI approach can be used. The leader should fully apologize for the behavior by acknowledging the situation, the disrespect behavior, and the negative impact it had on the team or team member. Try not to rationalize, excuse the behavior, or use the word “but”. A genuine apology does not make excuses.  

DON’T…

1. Tolerate disrespect. The number one cause of disrespectful behavior in the workplace is stress. This is reflective of our actions and behavior. Respect helps people during stressful situations. Leaders should not tolerate disrespectful behaviors, especially during stressful periods. Maintaining respect while experiencing high-levels of stress, generates self-confidence, and reinforces the importance of respect within the team. This is not easy but is very powerful. 

2. Don’t be distracted. The biggest distraction when it comes to respectful leadership is our cellphones. Leaders can easily be distracted by others trying to communicate with them instead of the meeting in front of them. If leaders can’t focus on the meeting, it sends a message of disrespect to the team. Leaders cannot pay attention to others and external communication at the same time. 

Sustainable, respectful practices are really good for business and team productivity. The best leaders create an environment of respect, not only at work but also in life. 

Article source – leadercast.com

6 Ways to Cultivate the Power of Respect

A little respect goes a long way.

In fact, when it comes to addressing conflict or tension, treating people with respect on a daily basis is one of the most helpful things a leader can do.

“At work and in our communities, we are often faced with uncertainty or tension around our differences,” says Center for Creative Leadership’s Kelly Hannum, co-author of our research on Leading Across Differences.

That’s why a key challenge for leaders is to help establish and nurture respectful relationships among many different groups.

3 Indicators of Respect

As part of her research, a survey of 3,041 individuals across 10 countries revealed that being respectful is not just helpful when addressing conflicts between groups; it’s also viewed as a critical leadership responsibility and is not as intuitive as people you may think.

Hannum identifies 3 key factors from the research that indicate what respect really means to people:

  1. Respect is about listening. People feel respected when they have been heard and understood. Being genuinely interested in and open to others strengthens relationships and builds trust. You don’t need to agree with or like the other person’s viewpoint. Taking the time to listen to someone’s experience, ideas, and perspectives is respectful, even if you choose another path.
  2. Respect isn’t the absence of disrespect. Eliminating active disrespect — such as rude, insulting, or devaluing words or behaviors — doesn’t create respect. Respect is an action: We show respect; we act respectfully; we speak with respect. “Leaders need to know that the absence of disrespect doesn’t have the same positive impact in resolving disagreement, conflict, or tension as does the presence of respect,” says Hannum.
  3. Respect is shown in many ways. The perception of respect is influenced by culture and family, peers, and social relationships. Status, power, and role all create the context in which respect is interpreted. Leaders need to take the time to understand how respect is given and received in cultures and groups other than the ones they think of as “normal.”

How to Cultivate Respect in Your Organization

You can help cultivate a climate of respect in the following ways:

  1. Exhibit an interest in and appreciation of others’ perspectives, knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  2. Express recognition and gratitude for the efforts and contributions of others.
  3. Openly communicate information about policies and procedures so everyone has access to and is operating with similar information.
  4. Clarify decision-making processes, and when appropriate, seek input into those processes.
  5. Take concerns seriously.
  6. If someone or a group feels “wronged,” seek to understand that perspective and offer a genuine apology if warranted.

At its core, respect is a continuous process of paying attention to people. We get into habits and make assumptions that, if unchecked, can lead to misunderstandings and ineffective behaviors.

Source: Article by Center for Creative Leadership 2020