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10 Ways to Get Your Staff to Love – and Respect – You

October 5, 2009
Updated April 22, 2016

happy-people1 Okay folks, an earlier post looked at 10 Ways to Get Your Staff to Hate You. That elicited an outpouring of comments and dozens of additional ways to achieve this. So today, I’m pulling a 180 and presenting how you, as a manager or leader, can get your staff to love and respect you.So let’s get rocking.

#10 – Get to know your staff and their families
This doesn’t mean snooping or putting on a false interest, but instead showing genuine interest in those you lead.

#9 – It’s okay to change your mind, but…
If you change direction, make sure that you explain clearly to your team why you did so. But it’s also advisable to involve your team in setting direction, as well as when it needs to be altered.

#8 – Communicate clearly and regularly
Ensure that your team is up to date on what is going on in the organization. And the best way to do this is face-to-face. Make judicious use of email.

#7- Encourage a learning culture within your team
Show leadership by starting with yourself. Lifelong learning is not a 9 to 5 proposition; it’s about how you absorb new experiences at work and through community service, training courses, assignments, reading, travel, etc. It’s a reciprocal process: employers provide opportunities to learn and grow, but employees also need to engage in activities outside of work.

#6 – Maintain a careful balance between work and personal interactions with your staff
As much as it’s good to do some outside socializing with your team, take particular care as manager to never be seen as creating favorites, which can occur through social activities.

#5 – Give regular feedback on performance
Be open and honest. Don’t whitewash performance reviews; this doesn’t help anyone and deludes people (especially newer recruits) into believing that they’re doing a good job. But acknowledge and recognize superior performance. And be sure to link performance reviews to learning activities. Performance and learning go hand-in-hand.

#4 – Make generous use of self-deprecating humor.
NEVER make fun of others at their expense. This shows your own insecurity. And don’t tolerate others making fun of those who may be more vulnerable. Lead by example.

#3 – Share the leadership!
Avoid micromanaging your staff. As they gain work experience and grow, keep the tension on by giving more responsibility and leadership opportunities. As manager, park your ego.

#2 – Admit when you screw up and make a point of showing how you’ve learned from the mistake
This is a powerful way to demonstrate your leadership to your team and to underscore that you’re not above them – you’re a human being.

#1 – Stand behind your staff during times of difficulty
When your staff make mistakes or get caught up in organizational politics and are in trouble, don’t abandon them in an attempt to cover your own ass. If you can’t stand behind one of your team members, then you don’t belong in management and you’re certainly not a leader.

The above ten ways to gain respect from your staff is not the definitive list, but rather drawn from my personal experiences. What other ways can you suggest to earn the respect of those you lead?

You can and should shape your own future; because if you don’t someone else surely will
– Joel Barker

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. alaxis permalink
    July 16, 2012 1:46 am

    How to deal with employees who have already made up their mind about u due to they have been there and are more knowledgeable than you. Also employees who are not use to you management style.

  2. October 6, 2009 12:28 am

    Thanks Susan for your comments. It’s not rocket science when it comes to how one interacts with others – as you point out. But boy, when you observe how so many people in positions of authority abuse people I just shake my head. I sometimes wonder what trauma these people went through growing up to end up treating their subordinates so badly later in life.

    I’m hoping that my upcoming book on holistic leadership helps people build strong managerial and leadership skills.

  3. October 6, 2009 12:11 am

    Great tips, Jim. To me, it seems that in its simplest form, the best way to be a good manager/leader is to be a nice person.

    You don’t have to be the very smartest or most articulate. But be part of the team. Lead but value other’s contributions as well.

    Recognize that as a manager you have the opportunity to bring out the best in people and to be a positive force in their life. So think before you say something cutting or do something hurtful.

    Treat staff the way you would treat a friend — with respect and kindness. Act like you care, because you really do. Be honest. Set realistic expectations. Communicate. Listen. Be supportive and encouraging. Appreciate other’s efforts. Be sincere. Be a good person.

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