Leadership isn’t easy. It never has and never will be. People are inherently difficult to deal with.
And sometimes leaders are the worst to deal with, even if they won’t admit it.
Preparing for Change
In my last blog post I encouraged leaders to show their followers how a change would benefit them or how staying static would be worse than the change you are asking them to make.
This time around I want to discuss the advantages to showing respect to other people’s points of view in order to make change more readily accepted.
People don’t follow by accident. They follow people who they respect.
It Takes Respect
John Maxwell, in his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, states this:
“People naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves.”
If people don’t respect you, they won’t follow you. It’s that simple. This can be the reason for a lot of leaders having problems with people. Somewhere along the way, people lost respect for them.
This can happen because of a variety of different circumstances.
It could be:
- A decision that was made
- A decision that was not made
- A change that was implemented poorly
I remember working with an person who was very well-respected by his followers. However, he made a decision that affected a lot of people without running it by them.
And because of it, people lost respect for him.
They stopped trusting in his decision-making and leading became a lot more difficult for him.
If he would’ve allowed those people into the decision-making process, things would have been a lot better for him. People would have continued to respect him at the same level as before the decision.
Respect for Others
What this point illustrates is that people want to be respected. This can be shown by allowing others to voice their opinion and letting them be a part of the change process. One thing a lot of leaders forget is that people’s favorite voice is their own.
If they want people to respect them and agreeably change, they need to involve people in the process.
This doesn’t mean you have to agree with their thoughts or like them, but respecting them is a must.
In professional coaching, this is a necessity. As Christian Simpson, a leader in professional coaching says this:
“If we are going to influence someone to improve.., then we have to respect the model of the world they have now, and then assist them in changing it.”
Again, this doesn’t mean that we go along with what people think or like what they believe needs to change, but we respect the fact that they have an opinion. Ultimately it is the leader’s responsibility to make the change but if they don’t first respect what other people think, it will not go over as well.
So How Does This Help?
As leaders, when we respect other people’s view of the world, it shows them that we don’t have a “my way or the highway” type of attitude. It means we care about what they think, respect what they believe and that we want to make changes based on our surroundings and what is truly going on.
Basically, we aren’t making changes from our point of view only.
This conveys respect, and people will more readily change when they see that their thoughts were listened to and evaluated before the change was made.
Respecting Other’s World View
Leaders must understand that their view of the world is just that, another point of view. They begin to realize that it is the same way with everyone else. Each person views their circumstances differently, just like the leader. It is the leader’s responsibility to respect it as that, just another view of what is going on.
When others see someone doing this, they begin to respect that person more and allow them to influence what they are doing. In other words, change becomes easier because they respect their leader enough to listen to what they have to say.
Q: Why is this?
A: Because the leader first respected others, which showed their followers they are worth following.
All in all, if you want others to change, you must respect what they think and show them that you do by being willing to find out what they are thinking.
Do you show others you respect them? Do you listen to what others have to say before making a necessary change? If you have lost respect from people, are you working to earn it back?
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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders™
Bryan Wolff is Owner of Bryan Wolff Leadership & Business Strategies
He helps business professionals and their teams unleash their leadership instincts
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Web | (218) 969-8057
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