Showing Respect in Tough Times

Are you one of the leaders who are riding high and fast – breezing through the hallways, cruising your Blackberry? STOP, slow down, and take the time to show respect for those in your employ who are working hard to make you look good. Now, in these tough times, respect (at a minimum) is essential.

Leaders sometimes need to slow down and show respect for those they lead. Like all of us, followers want to be acknowledged and to feel as if they are understood and valued.

So what does showing respect look like to your followers?

Include us: We are social animals and we have a desire to feel as if we are part of something. We also want to make an impact. Include us in your thinking, your brainstorming, your actions. When we’re included, we can help you to do your best work.

Listen to us: Often, all we want is for you to listen to us. We are people too, with the same needs as you; one of them is to be listened to. And….who knows? You might learn a thing or two from us.

Suspend your judgement of us: There are times when we need to say what we need to say. This may include how we feel about things, our values, some of the “soft” stuff. Don’t discount these things. We really feel them, and they are legitimate and real to us.

Encourage us: Some encouragement, acknowledging that we’re on the right path can go a long way. Our confidence may be waning, and the situation at work may be very tough. Let us know we’re doing fine.

Be kind to us: Sounds silly, but kindness is a powerful motivator. And kindness is catching! When you are kind to us,we will be kind back.

Thank us: We need to hear “thank you” more often. And your thank you needs to be specific – to us as individuals and about the great work we are doing.

It isn’t complicated or hard to show respect, but it can be difficult when you are caught up in the day to day stuff of getting things done, especially in these tough times.

I am a former executive in a Fortune 100 company. I have owned and operated an executive coaching firm since 2003 called Aspire Collaborative Services LLC. We partner with great leaders to help them become even greater at developing, improving, and sustaining relationships with the people who are essential to their success. This blog is for leaders and those who help them to be more intentional about relationships at work. My top personal values include respect for others, kindness, compassion, collaboration and gratitude. I work very hard at practicing my values daily and when I don’t succeed, I practice some more. I am married with two wonderful daughters and two spoiled pugs.