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Respectful Leadership: Why Respect Is A Two-Way Street

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Respectful Leadership: Why Respect Is A Two-Way Street

​Everyone wants to be treated with respect. However, being respected is something that comes from being respectful. In the context of the workplace, in order for it to be harmonious, respect should be present among and between leaders and those who they are leading. It is then important for leaders to cultivate a workplace that is filled with courtesy and respect.

The ideal workplace is a space that feels safe and trustworthy which is why lack of respect in organizations which usually comes from those who hold positions in power are what pushes employees to quit. This is why as a leader, you must live with the mindset that everyone is worthy of respect.

What is respectful leadership?

Respectful leadership is defined as treating everyone, no matter what rank or status, with genuine respect and regard. A respectful leader gives others the respect that they want to be given to themselves, knowing full well the value of the saying that “respect begets respect.” As a leader, you should always be conscious of the way you treat your employees because their attitude towards you would be reflective of that. Showing respect as a leader should also come naturally, it should not be forced, and it should be seen in every aspect of your role as a leader in your organization.

A respectful leader knows the value of fairness and equity in the workplace. Employees in an organization must be given the assurance that they are being treated fairly and that their efforts are being acknowledged properly so that they are given the idea that all of them are on the same playing field—treated with the same amount of respect. Respectful leadership is also about providing employees with the right perspective with how respect always goes both ways, that to earn it, one must also know how to give it.

The importance of respect in leadership can be seen in how it affects the entire organization’s functionality. If employees can see and feel that they are being given the respect they deserve, it would also become easy for them to understand the value of respect among everyone in the workplace.

Practicing respectful leadership

Showing respect as a leader deeply affects the way an organization functions. The practice of respectful leadership paves the way for a productive workplace. This is why a respectful leader should know that they should be the one to offer respect first. As the one who holds the upper hand in an organization, leaders must be aware of the value of providing validation to their employees in order to bring out the best in them. By practicing respectful leadership, leaders are able to foster a workplace that is filled with trust, hence providing employees with room to grow and thrive.

Practicing respectful leadership requires significant effort. Leaders should take it upon themselves to develop strategies and methods that would ensure that respect is always present in the workplace and that such presence becomes a motivational force for everyone in the organization. Without respect in the workplace, there can be discord which can affect not only the way the organization works but the wellbeing of employees as well.

The practice of respectful leadership is a dynamic process. As such, as a respectful leader, you should always be in a constant process of being self-aware, particularly with how you connect with your employees. You are responsible for creating a workplace culture wherein your employees can reach their full potential.

The culture of mutual respect

Mutual respect in an organization which is led by a respectful leader can bring forth success that would be beneficial to everyone. Through having a culture of mutual respect, it becomes easier to have a workplace that is open to meaningful collaboration. A workplace that is built on a sense of trust and respect amongst everyone can easily be successful because mutual respect fosters proper and efficient communication.

With mutual respect in place, the workplace can be a happier place for everyone. Through the presence and guidance of a respectful leader, employee satisfaction can be guaranteed and further, employee loyalty can be secured.  By being a leader who is empathetic to the needs of your employees, it becomes easier to build rapport in the workplace, making it a space that is open to every concern an employee may have. A leader who values respect can easily gain employees who share the same mindset which is definitely integral to the success of an organization.

Respect is a two-way street. It takes a respectful leader to develop a workplace culture that is founded on mutual respect. By making sure respect is always in place, a leader can expect that employees will also do their best to keep it that way, hence making sure that it is translated in how they function amongst each other in the workplace. While being a respectful leader at all times, no matter the situation, is no easy job, it is always worth it to strive and be a leader that your employees look up to because of how you value respect, first and foremost. 

Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing.  By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career.  The world is your oyster, and it starts with you. 

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