This is the last in a series of four blogs on leadership and influence.
In order for a leader to have influence, he or she must be respected by his or her subordinates. Of course, to get respect, you need to deliver it.
Respectful leaders are more likely to be followed. Those who are not are more likely to be sued.
Books could be written on what is—and what is not—respectful behavior. For purposes of this blog, a check list will have to do!
Behaviors that Will Increase your Influence (by increasing respect others have for you) include:
- Committed to the success of others
- Reasonably available to talk, listen, problem solve, etc.
- Respond constructively to mistakes (encourage prudent risk taking)
- Courage: doing what’s right, not popular
- Loyalty to the team (but not blind loyalty)
- Communicate clearly
*Expectations for employees
- What they are
- When employees are meeting them
- When employees are not meeting them
- Avoid inappropriate behaviors (see below)
- Speaks in own voice and common speak (avoid paradigm shifting words that will proactively ….)
- Demonstrate genuine concern for employees (but be careful not to get involved inappropriately in your employees’ private lives)
- Demonstrate your emotions; employees don’t follow leaders who are but brains in a jar
Behaviors that Will Decrease Your Influence (by decreasing the respect you enjoy) include:
- Double standards (do as I say, not as I do)
- Inconsistent messaging
- Playing favorites
- Credit grabbing
- Defensiveness (cannot admit mistakes)
- Hubris (versus humility)
- Treat employees as numbers and not peoples
- Remind employees of position/authority (unnecessarily)
- Heavy use of corporate speak
- Marginalization (micro-inequities)
- Engages in inappropriate behavior, such as unlawful harassment and bullying (even if lawful)
Start the day singing with the Queen of Soul and you begin on the right foot.
And, remember, respect—or lack thereof, is not just about behavior. It speaks to a leader’s character—and, in some cases, a lack thereof.
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