Respect Isn’t Given, It’s Earned

All leaders strive to have respect from their teams. There is a misconception that respect automatically comes with a job title or position within the company. The truth is that having the words manager, executive, or business owner in a job title doesn’t mean that respect should be expected. Having respect from your team takes time and is not an easy task. Earn respect as a leader using these 8 guidelines.

Be An Example

Leaders spend a fair amount of time communicating expectations and direction to their teams. They are decision makers and if team members are confused or have questions, the leader is the person they turn to. Being the point person comes with responsibility, but it doesn’t mean it comes with respect. In order to gain respect from the team, be the person you expect them to be. Not only should you communicate verbally, but you should also communicate through your actions. Be the person you expect your team to be and respect will follow.


Have an open door policy and invite feedback from the team. Be the person they come to with issues or challenges and encourage them to provide potential solutions. Take time to not only hear what they have to say, but listen. Follow-up by helping to implement change or by supporting their suggested solution. Listening to your team will show that you care.

Be Dependable

In other words, be your word. If you say you’re going to do something, be the leader that backs up their word by taking action. If you’re unable to meet agreed-upon obligations, then let your team know. Communicate why you’re unable to do what you agreed to do and follow-up with a new delivery date or action.

Be Vulnerable

Vulnerability is often associated with weakness, however, numerous studies show that being vulnerable exemplifies strength. It takes courage to admit mistakes and when a leader apologizes, admits they did something wrong, and communicates a new plan or steps to fix, the end result is respect. Mistakes are going to happen so it’s better to admit that an error was made rather than sweep it under the rug and pretend like nothing happened.

Related6 simple ways to connect with your team.

Make A Connection

Take time to get to know your team. Learn about their goals and aspirations. Make a connection and make it a priority to work on these relationships. The more you’re able to connect with your team, the more they’ll feel inclined to respect you.

Support & Encourage Growth

Be a supportive leader by learning what you can do to help your teams succeed. Do they have the tools they need? Do they have access to the appropriate resources and people? Help your teams along by asking and answering these questions. Dissolve roadblocks and get out of the way as your team members succeed and grow.

Embrace Change

Be the leader that embraces and drives change. Change will be one of the most challenging tasks to tackle as a leader because a majority of the time, negativity comes with change. Change is difficult and encouraging a team to do things differently is not easy. If negativity arises, counter it with solutions and a positive outlook. Successfully implementing change will not only earn respect from your team, but will also garner respect from colleages and leaders above you.

Think Big

Your job as a leader is to think big! Think ahead as your team works. What’s next? What improvements can you make? What are the goals for your department or organization? By thinking big, it allows your team to be the best they can be.

Are you having a difficult time earning respect as a leader? If so, reach out to a business coach or research leadership training programs. It only takes a few modifications to get you where you want to be as a leader.