Have Respect for Others

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People willingly and loyally follow great leaders because they trust and respect them, not because of their titles or status, and leaders gain that respect from the way that they behave towards others. All leaders should be conscious that people notice and remember how they have been treated by their leaders, and how others around them have been treated, and that their behaviors will reflect that treatment.

A leader who does not respect each individual member of his/her team cannot reasonably expect to be given respect by any team member. People typically reciprocate behavior, both positive and negative. If people feel that they have been listened to, they will typically respond by listening to others. On the other hand, if they feel they have been treated unfairly by their leaders, they will be less supportive of those leaders and less committed to their vision.

Like all of the other behaviors, respecting others has to be done with integrity. There is no point in giving the impression of caring about others or valuing their opinions if those concerns and interests are not genuine. That behavior in itself is both dishonest and disrespectful.

What does showing respect mean? Words that come to mind include consideration, thoughtfulness, admiration, fairness and courtesy.

Business success largely depends on the way that people are treated, whether they are colleagues, customers, suppliers or members of the public. A culture of respect towards all of these groups of people will go a long way to building the reputation and success of any organization.

It is said that you can judge a person’s character by the way he/she treats people. A leader will be judged by his/her team on this basis. A leader will judge his/her team and team members will judge each other on the same basis. A high performing team therefore needs to treat each other and non-team members in the right way and it is the leader who sets the behavioral standards by the way that he/she behaves.

Respect for others begins with personal values, the belief that everyone has something positive to contribute irrespective of their role, job title, background and character. People should be judged according to their contribution to the team not their hierarchical status. Showing respect means treating people as individuals and showing that they are each valued. People will flourish when they realize that they matter.

Leaders need to set the standards for all team members to follow in that everyone should be accorded the same level of respect irrespective of the job they do and the title they carry and that level of respect should be set at the highest level not the lowest.

Leaders need to be tolerant and open-minded, to value the different perspectives that people have on situations and so to encourage people to say what they think and feel. People should be respected for who they are and what they say. A good rule to follow in this regard is to assume that people have good intentions.

By their own behavior, leaders need to create an environment of mutual respect of differences in background, gender, ethnicity and culture and they should ensure that their teams embrace diversity, recognizing that diverse teams offer a richness of personalities, experiences and skills that can be used to benefit everyone.

Respect is an attitude of mind. Leaders need to recognize its importance and then ensure that they behave appropriately at all times thereby creating the culture for everyone to embrace.


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