By: Andrew Wight, Intellezy CEO
Are You a Terrible Boss? How to Honor Your Employees
Early on, I learned a valuable lesson from a boss that I admired. It was a lesson in humility and respect.
Start with Understanding
In meetings, he often presented questions for the team’s consideration. He listened intently as we shared our ideas and opinions. Never expressing an opinion immediately, he asked clarifying questions until our meaning was clear. He always complimented individuals on their efforts and acknowledged their contributions with an authentic smile or a nod.
The Best Ideas Don’t Come from the Biggest Paychecks
Now admittedly, our team had some very good ideas, but we also had some half-baked ones too. But no matter the idea, he showed respect by listening to us, recognizing our efforts, and giving valuable feedback that dignified us. He let us know that the best ideas didn’t have to come from the person with the biggest paycheck in the room.
5 Tips to Show Your Employees Respect
- Take a Personal Interest
We’ve all heard the expression, “I don’t care what people think about me.” That’s rarely true. We like people that take an interest in us. So get to know your staff. Ask them questions about their likes, dislikes, families, and goals. Consider their viewpoints without being judgmental. Find common ground on subjects that interest them while being careful not to cross lines of privacy or propriety.
- Be Quiet and Listen
Listen to understand – not to reply. There’s nothing that says, “I don’t respect your ideas” more than interrupting someone when they’re speaking. Even though you might be able to finish their sentence, resist the urge. It’s rude and can squelch the conversation. Instead, wait for them to finish, pause, and then respond. It builds trust and demonstrates that you value their ideas.
- Ask Good Questions (then see #2)
When you ask good questions, you’re practicing validation. It makes difficult conversations easier because you’ve established that you care about them and their ideas.
- Be Empathetic
We’re our harshest critics. When a team member makes a mistake, ask yourself, “Was it intentional negligence or just an honest mistake?” If it was a mistake, ask yourself, “Is it a big deal? What if I’d made that mistake? How are they feeling?” Asking yourself these questions can turn a negative situation into a positive teaching opportunity.
- Honor Others Often
I can’t think of a better way to show that you value and respect someone than by telling them how much you appreciate them. One of the best ways to do that is to commend them. Do it sincerely, be specific, do it in front of others, and do it often.
Form a Respectful Habit
We’re all busy. Sometimes, we get so involved in our own day-to-day concerns that we fail to take the time to think of others and what we can do to better their lives. If you’re a victim of this, don’t blame yourself, just make it a point to try to apply one or more of these points each day. If you do, you’ll not only benefit your team, but yourself as well.
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