Transform Your Team With Respect


The ingredients respect and trust are essential and key to transforming a gathering of people into a team. Military squads often refer to their teammates as brothers. This “family” is tied together by respect. Respect can be applied unconditionally to your character. It is the first step in being a better leader, and it can exponentially empower your group.

Here are some essential situations where you need to use respectful behavior: as a leader, as a speaker, with ones opinions and space. It has some basic rules:

  1. Always counsel in private
  2. Always give a speaker your respect
  3. Always respect others self and belongings
  4. Always tell the truth and be respectful

Obviously, all of these, except telling the truth, come with the exception – unless there is immediate risk. A teacher of mine once said “it is important to know that people remember maybe 10 percent of what they hear but 100 percent of how you make them feel.” Let us take a closer look at these rules.

Always counsel in private

Counseling in private is essential because it allows the leader or speaker to save face. By doing this you are giving them your respect and it empowers them. There is a saying, “any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and most fools do.” Try to structure your advice constructively and avoid the 3 c’s. By holding your thoughts or critiques until you can privately share it saves both of you embarrassment and disrespect. A person embarrassed will often be angry and hateful. The ONLY exception to this rule is when there is an immediate safety issue. So unless it is life or limb essential, always counsel in private.

Always give a speaker your respect

The talking stick theory puts the attention on the one speaking. Being a respectful listener is a true leadership skill. Any interruptions are rude; fidgeting, making noise, interrupting, obviously not paying attention or having side conversations are just some ways to disrespect a speaker. However, these are not just disrespectful to the speaker but to all trying to listen. By giving the speaker your attention you are respecting all present.

Always respect others self and belongings

Honoring and respecting each other is essential. How do you feel when someone gets into your stuff without asking? How about when a stranger touches you? Remember that people remember how you make them feel. Emotions are powerful! Before touching people’s stuff or person, get their permission first! They will respect you for it!

Always tell the truth and be respectful

Truth = trust. Trust is acquired and earned. Exaggerations and embellishments belong only in stories. As we create an environment where we want respect and trust, we build that by speaking truth and being courteous and kind. It is OK to agree to disagree. If you are a leader, require a truthful environment for your team.

These are simple steps that can have powerful results. People remember how you make them feel and crave respect and love. By being respectful and trustworthy you earn the respect and trust of those around you. Creating leadership skill is easier when you have the tools to help you empower your team!

Katie Elder Atkinson is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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