“Everything would be okay if it wasn’t for her.”
“She is fine to my face, but then stabs me in the back.”
“She thinks she is better than me.”
This is what I was told repeatedly yesterday… I was facilitating a high performance coaching session with an emerging manager about her leadership – however, all she wanted to talk about was how one of her assistant managers didn’t respect her – as she said, “She doesn’t have my back, I can’t trust her.”
Respect is important to us all. As a leader. As a manager. As a human being. Respect is vital.
We all want it, the question is, are you willing to do what it takes to get it?
Respect is not given to you. Even when you are in a senior role at work, that doesn’t mean you automatically receive respect. People might work for you, but they don’t have to respect you.
Respect has to be earned. If you want more respect in your life and are prepared to put in the hard work, then here are six reasons why there could be a lack of respect in your life and what to do about it.
1.You Don’t Respect Yourself
Yesterday, the manager I coached lacked self belief. The way she talked about her situation and her job, was like she didn’t quite feel like she deserved it. She didn’t think she was good enough or capable.
In simple terms, she didn’t respect herself as a manager and her Assistant Manager knew it. Speaking to her, all she really needed was to understand that she had been given the job because her boss believed she was good enough. That simple realisation was all she needed.
If you lack respect for yourself, here is my advice:
To purposefully review all the good you have done, you are an amazing person who has been through a lot. That deserves respect.
2.You Talk Behind Their Backs
Here is some very simple advice – Talking negatively about your team to other people in your team NEVER ends well. They always find out and you lose the respect of almost everyone in that team. If you have a problem with someone’s behaviour, feedback to them, not their colleagues!
3.You Don’t Treat Others The Way You Want To Be Treated
How you treat others will directly link to how others treat you in return. This means you should take care and attention when you decide how you want to be treated. Then give those behaviours to those around you, allow them to feel the way you want to.
For example, the manager I spoke to yesterday, liked to be the ‘mother’ figure within her team. Taking on all of the motherly duties and treating her team like her children. So guess what happened? Her team were treated like children, so they acted like children.
No surprises, but that is not what you want as a manager. What she has now done is identified that she would like her team to be respectful and honest. She now has to answer the question: What are the behaviours someone would have to show for you to treat them as respectful and honest?
4.You Act First, Then Think
Something happens in a situation that you perceive as a lack of respect and then fire back in an emotional manner. Then later will think ‘Why did I say that?’
This is an emotional reaction that it is highly unlikely you will get the response or outcome you want. This is because the response from those around you is likely to be an emotional one too.
If you want to ensure that you get respect, thinking about how you feedback is critical. This takes planning, not much, but it will take a moment or two for your to gather your thoughts and remove the emotion.
If someone is disrespectful to you, think about how you will respond. It doesn’t need to be a fight and it doesn’t need to be emotional. What needs to happen is that behaviour is modified going forward.
What specific behaviour and situation are you discussing? What was the effect of this behaviour? What would you like to see in the future?
5.You Hold Back Your Concerns, Until You Explode
This is the opposite of acting first, thinking later! These are the times you will effectively ‘bottle up’ all your feedback and emotions, as the lack of respect builds and builds. Until, one day, all the emotion and feedback comes flooding out… probably for something and nothing!
If you let this happen, it is not the perpetrators fault, it’s yours. Allowing poor behaviour or emotions to build and then exploding into an emotional feedback volcano, guarantees a failure to get respect.
The advice is the same as before – when witnessing disrespectful behaviour, take a moment to remove the emotion and approach the situation factually. Then take the appropriate action as soon as you can.
6.Your Deeds Don’t Match Your Actions
One of the quickest ways to lose respect of the people around you is to say you will do something or say that you stand for something and then don’t. The best approach is to be mindful. To think about what you say and how you say it. The more people you lead, the more mindful you have to be.
Be clear and check understanding. If you do what you say you will do, respect will follow.
Putting it all together
We all want and need respect, especially in a management or leadership role. If you want to change the behaviour of the people around you, then you must change your behaviour first.
Remember, respect is earned, so transform your behaviour and you will transform the respect you receive.