• Tony Richards

Why Leaders Need To Demonstrate Respect

Updated: Sep 14

There’s a great proverb which says “those who show respect, get respected”.


How true.


So, in other words, if leaders take the time to demonstrate for people, they will show you respect in return. Ask most people in an organization what treatment they most want, they will likely start their list with respect. And while we are at it, it’s not just something you would do at work. How you do anything is how you do everything. Demonstrating respect is a behavior which is cultivated in life, leadership and trust is simply a bi-product of how you behave all the time everywhere.


Your relationships might be somewhat different at work than other places, but you shouldn’t be. Showing respect for others begins with self-respect, the amount you have for yourself. It might be a good idea to self-examine your self-respect. If you think it might be a little low, perhaps some strong affirmations or positive reinforcement could help.


Demonstrating respect for others is much easier for leaders who respect themselves. Demonstrating respect with your words could be as simple as using “we” instead of “I’. Saying “thank you” when someone does something for you. Asking others their thoughts and opinions.

Here are some other ways leaders can demonstrate respect.

  1. Genuinely care for others. People can discern whether or not you really care about them or not. The leadership lie is leaders can not get close to or have significant relationships with their people. I say there is hardly any other way.

  2. Treat everyone with respect.  Do this especially for those who can not do a thing for you. Open a door. Say “after you, please”. Show kindness in the little things.

  3. Actively listen to what others have to say before giving your viewpoint. Demonstrate their thoughts and ideas are important to you.

  4. Never insult people or their ideas.

  5. Use their ideas and give them credit for them. Implement what they give you to improve the work environment and productivity.

  6. Praise openly and often. Reserve coaching for private unless the entire team is involved in the process. Sometimes the team is learning as a group.

  7. Do not exclude people from group activities. Not everyone can participate in everything, but extend the invitation if it’s a group thing and not a specific reward of some kind.

Now it’s your turn. Get out your journal and noodle these out:

  1. Do you have enough self-respect? If no, what 3 things can you do to demonstrate more respect toward yourself?

  2. Write down what you know about each of your team members. How well do you know them? How easy is it to show them you genuinely care for them?

  3. What 1 thing can you do this week to demonstrate more respect in your role?

  4. What can you do to turn down the “noise” and become a better listener this week with everyone you encounter?

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