Six Reasons Why Your Team Don’t Respect You

“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.

The Scientific Way To Create A High Performing Team

If you are a manager, leader or owner of a company… You desire a high performing team.

You want a team that is cohesive, that works for each other and for the greater good. A team that is comfortable and secure enough to challenge each other. A team that welcomes new ideas and originality, rather than following the accepted standard.

Adam Grant, in his latest book ‘Originals’, has a chapter dedicated to the science behind which leadership strategies create the highest performing teams.

Adam Grant reveals five common strategies that leaders use to build their teams. Which one do you use?


The aim is to recruit and attain the best skilled team possible. Whatever the task in hand is, this type of leader will seek out the highest skilled team possible. This team will then be given challenging tasks and autonomy to deliver on them.


star-employee-1The leaders who utilise the ‘star’ strategy, don’t concern themselves with the specific skill set of their team members. What these leaders are interested in is the future and potential of individuals within their team.

They will seek out the brightest, sharpest people, who demonstrate the brain capacity to become world-class at what they do. Within this approach, the team will be given challenging tasks and the autonomy to decide how these tasks should be accomplished.


This strategy is based on cultural fit.

The leader will build a team of people who share the same the values and beliefs as themselves. In essence the leader surrounds themselves with people who believe what they believe. This team will be lead with high challenge, autonomy and strong emotional bonds to the mission.


This approach shares similar attributes as the professional strategy. The focus is on skills, with individuals with the highest skill set being the most desired. The difference in this approach is, rather than allowing their teams an autonomous environment, this strategy leans heavily on financial based incentives and micro-management.


bda-on-red-tapeThis strategy is based on recruiting and growing a team based on skills. The difference is that these teams will be managed with challenging tasks combined with very detailed rules and regulations on how to deliver on these tasks.

What strategy would you choose?

The aim is to get a high performing team. A high performing team is a team that will push each other, can challenge one another and which will welcome new ideas and originality.

Hopefully it is obvious that Autocracy and Bureaucracy won’t generate a high performing team… These approaches would only deliver average results and conforming, non-challenging team members, due to the micro-management and rules and regulations management style adopted.

If you have a basic level task, which you need a low level of performance and you don’t want your team to think about what they are doing and how to improve on it… then Autocracy and Bureaucracy are the options for you.

However, if you want a high performing team, then you are left with three options… Professional, Star and Commitment.

The most commonly adopted approach is Professional. Get the highest skilled people possible… On the surface this is a reasonable assumption to make.

But it’s the opposite – The research clearly demonstrates, this approach is the worst at building high performing teams out of the remaining options. The shocking truth is that it is at least three times more likely to fail than the others!

The second most popular approach is Star. Building a team of people, who have the capacity to grow and become world-class appears seductive.

However, the data once again shows us that this is likely to fail – twice as much as the last remaining option…


This is the least adopted strategy by leaders across the world, yet the data proves, time and time again, that this approach is the most likely to produce a high performing team!


Why does a Committed strategy produce a high performing teams?

  • They demonstrate more passion and intensity.
  • They believe in the same things as the leader, so everyone is emotionally bought in to a shared vision.
  • Being surrounded by people who share the same values automatically create a strong sense of belonging and loyalty.
  • A team that is emotionally connected and driven will be more willing to speak up and share new ideas.
  • Those ideas are more likely to be accepted and listened to, because everyone knows that the best interests of the team are at heart.
  • Making the right decision for the team, takes precedence over any ego or status quo.

No matter which strategy was your preference when we started – we all know that a team who share values, beliefs and feel trusted will perform.

Skills can be taught, beliefs on the other hand can not… Surround yourself with people who believe what you believe and you will have a high performing team.

As Adam Grant says in his book “Skills and Stars are fleeting, commitment lasts”.