Have you ever noticed how some leaders seem to have a knack for instantly commanding respect?
Can this respect “It Factor” actually be taught?
Or are you born with some kind of “respect magnet”?…
…an ability to attract respect and subdue confrontation without much effort.
Ever wonder how they do it?
What is it that garners that kind of respect from everyone around them?
When I look back at the common goals for coaching sessions with executives over the years…
Respect is always high on their list…
Earning respect is one of the most crucial skills needed to become a successful leader, so today I’m going to share insights from leadership case studies on exactly how that’s done.
First, let’s agree that respect is earned …and you can be TAUGHT how to get it.
Here’s the difference…:
Most of us have never been taught how to do it well.
Let’s dive into the 10 things I’m about to share with you that will help you gain more respect. Because people are counting on you to improve communication with your staff, peers, coworkers and customers etc. NOW…
But before I get started, let me just say this…
Many communication gurus won’t touch this topic, probably because of the “feelings” aspect involved. That’s unfortunate because this is a CRITICAL aspect of every leader’s life and if you’re a leader (or an executive) or leadership hopes of any kind, this can make or break your potential.
Let’s get started…
#1: Get Your Self-Esteem Solely from Yourself
People who command respect focus on what THEY can control…
…namely caring and respecting others.
When this is your main concern, you don’t need to worry about making anyone feel bad.
Successful leaders don’t worry about what they can’t control…
…what others think of them.
What matters most is what YOU think of you.
#2: Surround Yourself with the Right People
Respect begets more respect.
Those who command respect surround themselves with others who respect them and whom they respect.
How do you find these people?
Look for people who:
When you find others who share those 4 things, you’ll find yourself being more respected.
#3: Solve Your Own Anxiety and Frustrations
Powerful charismatic people have one thing in common:
They have learned to control their anxiety and frustrations…
…ON THEIR OWN.
This doesn’t mean you can’t share aspects of what is happening in your life with another person, but you cannot and should not ask another person to handle them FOR you.
That will lose respect.
Instead, handle your anxiety by surrounding yourself with wise individuals.
Consult with them to make your decisions easier.
#4: Serve Others’ Needs
Unfortunately, this may sound backwards to some leaders…
…Meet the needs (especially the professional needs) of others?
Yes… and you will earn respect in droves.
I’m not saying to neglect yourself…
…but serve others ABOVE yourself and you’ll be astounded by the results.
One way to do this is to help others with their frustrations and anxiety. (Bonus: This can help you ease your own.)
#5: Take a Risk
People who command respect make it a priority to go on adventures…
…adventures that require a risk in either their professional or personal life. (Or both!)
Here’s a picture of me taking a risk at a recent leadership summit…(That’s me on the right)
Calculated risks become successes that garner respect.
Nearly every well-known business leader fits this description.
#6: Don’t Whine or Complain
Have you ever seen the people YOU respect complaining instead of taking action?
I’ll bet it’s rare…
Why is that?
Respect magnets do not complain…
…especially not in front of co-workers, staff or customers.
Instead, find something actionable you can do to change your situation.
Problems and conflict are not resolved by complaining.
#7: Don’t Be a People Pleaser
There will always be someone to “complain” about a decision you’ve made.
It’s ok not to give everyone exactly what they want.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t show you care about others…
…but your responsibility is to do what’s best for them, you and your company.
You’ve got to “cut the cord” to people pleasing…
…and there’s 3 ways to do it:
Get Assertive Expectations
Set Assertive Boundaries
Enforce Expectations and Boundaries
We’ll talk about how to do this more in just a second…
…but for now, don’t be afraid to give others “constructive criticism.”
Respect is earned when people discover you’ve given them what they NEEDED instead of what they WANTED.
#8: Find Your Mission in Life
Wealth does not define you or earn you genuine respect.
Completing your mission defines you and earns respect.
What’s a mission?
A Mission can be defined as:
Following your passion to do good for the world doing something you are good at AND enjoy.
A mission provides durable fulfillment: Happiness, Success and Freedom.
Most importantly a mission is something that helps others…
…and if you want respect, you need to know what YOURS is.
Not sure what yours is?
“What problem does my passion offer a solution to?” That’s probably your mission.
#9: Set Good Boundaries and Expectations
I promised we’d cover this a little more and here you go…
Let’s start with what’s the difference between an expectation and a boundary?
An Expectation = “You should do this….”
Example: “I expect you to complete projects on time.”
A Boundary = “I do this…”
Example: “I give promotions to individuals that consistently complete projects on time.”
Boundaries are the only thing you can enforce…
Those who garner respect know how to set good (healthy) boundaries.
A good, healthy boundary has doors that allow people to decide what stresses to let in.
An unhealthy boundary has either holes that let other stresses in or walls that don’t let in anything at all.
Unhealthy boundaries are often a flag for disrespect.
#10: Learn to Listen Well
This may be the most elusively obvious thing on this top ten list.
Those who garner respect are impeccable listeners.
They know how to clear their mind, open their posture, keep their eyes on the talker, and show they’re listening with words of affirmation.
They know what to LISTEN FOR…
…and they wait to formulate a response.
They paraphrase what they’ve heard and ask before delivering feedback.
Most importantly, they follow up later with a seemingly steel trap mind.
Well, that’s it for now…
…go try some of these ideas to gain respect as a true leader.