It is frustrating when you feel like you have tried your best to be a good leader, but it seems like you are not getting the kind of respect that you think you deserve.

The first problem is on the idea that as a leader, you have to be respected. This is an incorrect notion. Respect is earned and not imposed. It does not come with titles or positions. If your goal to climb the corporate ladder is to gain respect, you are definitely on the wrong track.

Here are some other reasons why you are not being respected right now and what you can do in order to avert the problem.

You don’t allow them to shine

As a leader, you have to be there as a guide. Your role is to allow people to shine. You must let them work on what they can do best. They need to understand their worth in the organization and as human beings in general. You should also provide more freedom so they can play on their strengths and not limit what they do. Avoid forcing them to just work on certain things because this makes them feel less valuable. If they are highly qualified to do certain tasks and this skill can contribute to the organization in general, let them do it.

You are a non-confrontational leader

Respected leaders know how to deal with issues. In any organization, there will be issues. There are individuals who will most likely confront each other because of work-related problems. Some things are resolved easily, but others are not. Before they escalate, you have to be there to help them solve the problems. Don’t be just the nice leader that everyone admires. You might be liked in the end, but you won’t be respected.

This also sends the message that you are not confident in yourself. You are not comfortable with these situations, and you would rather shy away than approaching them.

You show no appreciation

Employees are human beings who also want to be appreciated for their hard work. If you can’t give it to others, you can’t expect others to do the same thing. They help you grow your business and achieve certain goals. You can’t give bonuses and promotions all the time to show appreciation. The least that you can do is to say thank you to them. Let them know that they are an integral part of the success of the business and their contributions are deserving of praise. Once you start showing appreciation, you can see them returning the favor. Just make sure you don’t praise them because you are also fishing for compliments.

You don’t show up during tough situations

Any business will go through a tough time. When this happens, your leadership skill is tested. This is the time for you to step up and show that you have what it takes to lead. Don’t hide and run away from the problems. Face them head-on. If you have competitors that are killing it, you need to take the lead and guide everyone to success.  When you are running behind in sales, you must be the first to come up with ideas on what to do so you can move everything forward. At these moments, they would surely look up to you as a leader. Give to them what they want, and you can expect love and respect in return.

You keep blaming others

As former US President Truman said, “the buck stops here.” It is in reference to the idea that if his administration failed or has done something wrong, regardless of who has done the mistake, the blame is on him as the president. The same logic applies to any other organization.

If something goes wrong, you have to be ready to take the blame. There is nothing wrong in determining what went wrong. If in this process, someone ends up getting blamed, it is perfectly fine. However, you should not make them feel even worse. Let them know that you have made the bigger decisions and so you should take the blame. Shared responsibility in a team makes people respect the leaders even more.

Their personal lives don’t matter to you

It is understandable for you to be too busy to even bother about other people’s lives. You also have a life to worry about. This might be true, but you are a leader. You are also expected to not just run the business but lead the people. These people have feelings. It won’t hurt to ask them every now and then about how they feel and how their families are doing. You don’t have to do it all the time, but you can see if they are doing well or not. If they continuously take a leave of absence, you should at least ask what is wrong. If you feel that they have lots of deductibles in their salary due to loans, you should also ask why it is happening.

You are not expected to solve all of these problems. At the very least, you are there to listen and make them feel that you care.

You just can’t be pleased

The very fact that you are supposed to be pleased is already a bad idea. You are the leader, but you are also a part of the team. You should walk with them in the process. Give some ideas and help them organize. Don’t just wait to receive information from them or a good pitch before you decline and say it is not good enough. Don’t act like you are a god and people should bow down on you. Learn how to go down to their level and understand what they are working on to help the company.

You don’t communicate well

Communication is essential in any organization. Use the right words. Be specific with your instructions. Allow people to have freedom in making decisions, but don’t just let them do things without structure or guide at all.

It is like opening a business without signage. You can’t just expect people to find the location of your business. They might get irritated because it is unclear where to find the establishment. As a leader, you have to be as clear as the signs on the street. By simply looking at them, people know what to do and where to go.

When you change your ways as a leader, you won’t have to wait to be respected anymore. It will be given to you without asking for anything in return. You also create a healthier working environment for everyone.

About the Author: 

Ella Flores is a Texas native, dedicated to helping the businesses of Austin improve their brand visibility through impactful marketing initiatives. With the support of a local Austin sign company, Ella ensures her clients get the business visibility they need to keep customers stopping in and coming back. Ella enjoys horseback riding with her husband of 5 years when looking for a relaxing getaway.

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