Hold the Mirror to Gain Respect

“All I want is a little respect, R. E.S.P.E.C.T.”

Aretha Franklin isn’t the only one wanting and deserving respect, but how easy is it to get and to maintain in the crazed world of work today?

In a recent study conducted between manager coaches and their employee coachees, it was revealed that 54% of the participants felt that the most crucial capability for a worthwhile relationship is to build trust in the relationship. Without trust you have ZIP. I believe that any manager that takes the time and makes the effort to coach or train their employees in what the employee needs, is more than likely a trusting boss.

Rebecca Heaslip is an Executive Coach and founder of Leadership Insight in Toronto and she shares 5 tips that will ensure trusting relationships between managers and employees:

1. Spend the time to build trust with your staff. Meet often one on one so the employee feels valued. These meetings are not to talk about performance and tasks but about the employee’s passions, goals and their career pathing. Time is a valuable commodity in the workplace for everyone, but when you build bridges with the people with whom you work the health of the team benefits ten fold from the positive outcomes.

2. Be a good role model, work on yourself. Hold the mirror. Stop yourself throughout the day now and again and ask yourself if this is the best communication strategy or behavior you can be executing in the moment. Get and keep a positive attitude. Learn positive verbiage. “No problem” is not positive, “with pleasure” or “happy to help” is positive communication. Employees look to their managers to see how they should behave and in many instances how they should dress. Everything from the condition in which you keep your car and how punctual you are is a benchmark by which you are measured.

Ensure your language and behavior is consistent, they have to be aligned with one another for true credibility.

3. Raise your emotional intelligence skills. Your emotional intelligence has nothing to do with hugging trees or having Kleenex on your desk.

One aspect of EI has to do with being more empathetic, by showing you care about your staff in ways that are individually meaningful to each person. Some employees want to be asked about their kids and others about their volunteer work or the course they are taking outside the office. Be prepared to exhibit empathy around sick parents, childrens’ activities or vacations. Ask “how are you and your family” to family oriented individuals. The people within your company make up your company. The bottom line is NOT what it is all about all the time. Value based run companies are few and far between, and they are tricky to run, but their bottom lines are usually higher because of it.

4. Deliver critical feedback in private. Feedback should be about the problem not about the individual. Take the emotion out of the delivery and stick to the facts of the matter. Ask: What happened? What did you observe? Discuss how the activity or situation impacted the team and that person. Rebecca recommends you say, “I observed” NOT “You did this and this…” Use the assertive “I” word, not the aggressive YOU.

5. Follow through on promises and commitments. Do what you say you’re going to do or don’t say anything in the first place. If you drop the ball, admit it, apologize, explain what happened and rectify it. You can’t keep breaking promises or making mistakes with employees and asking for forgiveness even if you are a nice guy.

Low trust or a lack of trust destroys employee initiative, engagement and morale. However, once a deep trust is established, performance and engagement can reach new heights! Go to www.theconfidentcoach.com to take a little quiz to heighten your awareness of how your actions influence your relationships with others.