Ethical Leadership

Respectful Leadership

Leadership skills are essential ingredients in the recipe for small business success. If you're smart, you'll learn how to include an ample amount of respect in your leadership mix.

Be honest . . . Would your employees classify your leadership style as respectful leadership?

Respectful Leadership

Or would they say that you're a good leader who is focused on achieving your company's goals at any cost?

Most leaders would like to think that they model both of those leadership styles. But more often than not, leaders view their employees as either valued team members or as tools to achieve the leader's personal or business objectives.

Respectful leadership is more effective (and more productive) than a leadership style that is characterized by winning at any cost. When employees feel disrespected by leadership, they never fully invest themselves in the organization's mission. Highly respected workers, on the hand, are willing to go the extra mile to achieve their leader's priorities and objectives.

Respectful Leadership Tips

  • Take a top down approach. Good leaders encourage employees to respect both their coworkers and company executives. Yet these leaders often fail to perceive that respect starts at the top. The way to create a more respectful workplace is to make respect a centerpiece of your leadership approach.
  • Encourage civility. Bad manners and questionable behavior aren't acceptable in a professional workplace. Respectful leadership promotes workplace civility and equips employees with conflict resolution skills and processes.
  • Emphasize communication. Respectful leaders are great communicators. One of the keys to creating an atmosphere of respect in your business is to include your employees in your decision-making processes. Although it should always be clear that you are the final decision maker, you'll gain the respect of your workers if you listen to their input and communicate the rationale behind your decisions.
  • Create partnerships with employees. Inclusion and collaboration are critical features of respectful leadership. If you treat your employees like hired guns, you'll never gain their full respect. But if you treat them like valuable partners in carrying out your company's mission, they will reward you with their trust, loyalty, and respect.
  • Recognize employee contributions. It's impossible to respect a leader that takes credit for the company's successes, but pins the blame for failures on his staff. Respectful leaders recognize the contributions their employee's make in their success and share responsibility for failures.

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