If you want to be a successful leader, you need to earn the respect of your colleagues. This isn’t all that difficult, yet there have been plenty of would-be leaders who don’t seem to understand how to do it.
Treat Your Staff with Respect
Respect is a two-way street. If you want people to respect you, you need to respect them in turn. Getting to know your staff personally will undoubtedly help, as will trusting them to do the job they were hired to do. In other words, you need to have a good relationship with everyone who works with you or for you. Never assume that you know more than them, even if you are the one in charge.
Having a positive attitude can go a long way towards earning your staff’s respect. You don’t need to be overly cheerful and happy all the time, but try to stay in good spirits around your colleagues and keep encouraging them in their work.
Admit Your Mistakes
Some people think that owning up to your mistakes makes you look weak as a leader, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Admitting when you make a mistake not only makes you look like a more mature and rational person, but it’s the first step in fixing that mistake. Naturally, your staff will respect you a lot more when you can admit that you aren’t perfect and that you’re willing to fix a problem that is largely your fault.
Forgive Others Mistakes
Just as you should be willing to admit your own mistakes, you need to be ready to forgive others when they make mistakes. Nobody likes a boss who berates their employees whenever something goes wrong, so don’t be that person. Something should obviously be done if someone made a very costly mistake or did something with malicious intent. Still, most mistakes should be forgiven and be used as teachable moments, not as excuses to punish someone.
Keep an Open-Door Policy
Finally, you need to be available for your employees whenever possible. Keep an open-door policy and allow your staff to come to you with their concerns and suggestions. It’s a large part of showing them respect, which will always earn you respect in turn.