Being a good leader requires more than charisma and experience. It requires the respect of those you’re leading. To paraphrase a popular saying, respect isn’t automatic. You don’t get it simply by being in charge. You have to earn it. Here are five tips for becoming a respected leader.
You must know the ins and outs of your field. If someone comes to you for advice, but you don’t have the knowledge necessary to give them a good answer, will they trust you? It’s doubtful, and trust is a cornerstone of respect. Learn as much as possible — including information about the people you’re leading. The more prepared you are, the better you can keep things running smoothly.
To get respect, offer it to others first. When they feel valued, they’ll perform better and think more highly of you. Make an effort to get to know them. If you never remember a person’s name, will they respect you? No. However, if you learn that person’s name and a little about them, they’ll appreciate that you made an effort. That appreciation will lead to respect.
Do you always seem frazzled? Are you often negative? If so, work on exhibiting a calmer, more positive, and confident demeanor. It’s difficult for others to believe in you if you don’t appear to believe in yourself. No matter what you do, problems will eventually arise. Your team needs to trust that you can guide them through the rough spots.
We all make mistakes — including you. As a leader, you’ll face a lot of pressure to make the right calls. Sometimes you’ll make the wrong one. When this happens, be honest about it. Don’t try to pass the blame. Accept responsibility. Not only will your team trust you, but they’ll also learn they can count on you to do the right thing.
You’re not the only one with great ideas. The people you’re leading have them too. Be open to feedback, suggestions, and new ideas. Don’t forget to get the proper credit for those ideas, though.