There was an individual who I was thinking about this morning whose birthday is near. I was thinking about reaching out and wishing her a happy birthday, however, she is so negative that I thought it best to stay put. She values respect, as most of us do. However, the way she goes about it is very unflattering. So, in light of her birthday, dedicate this article to her.
Most of us think about respect in a high regard and a value that we must have. When we order the values that we cherish from greatest to least, respect is more than likely to be at the top of the list. However, most people do not know how to properly acquire respect, or once attained, they do not maintain it. By understanding the difference demanded and earned respect, we are able to see how valuable this quality is in have, and how we must nourish it constantly in order to maintain work balance in our lives.
Demanded respect is something that I can confidently say we see regularly. This type of respect is attained by someone in a position higher than yours at work. Often seen as “I’m your boss, do as I say,” this is the fastest way to achieve this value, however it is usually short lived. A boss who uses this type of strategy to gain respect usually does this through fear and it can be seen in a company with a high turnover rate. They may exhibit negative behavior, lack of emotional intelligence, and threaten to take you to human resources if you don’t “fall in line.” This causes a negative impact on the overall company, as negativity has a way of spreading like a cancer. Your employee’s production may decrease, morale is low, and an increase in passive aggressive behavior is seen. Demanded respect is not something that any leader should want. However, because it’s the fastest way to come by it, it is the most frequently seen.
Earned respect is gradually gained. This is arrived at by the leader’s work ethic, genuine concern for the team, and never asked for. A leader who is truly respected through this way never complains about the work on hand, and they never boast of how much hard work they do. The team says it for them. The team recognizes their hard work and the news will spread. Earned respect is stable and long term. Once established it is difficult to remove from the leader. In order to maintain this type of respect, the leader must continue to exhibit the quality he/she would like to see in those who work for them. The impact of earned respect is enormous. Trust and loyalty usually ensue, and your team’s overall morale improves. If continued, your team will no longer need direction. They know what is expected of them, and will do so willingly. Micromanagement will no longer be needed.
Demanded vs. Earned respect have very different effects on your team. By taking a closer look at the qualities of both types, respect can work to benefit your style of leadership. It is your responsibility, no matter how much your team morale has declined, or negative qualities your team has, to continue to influence and grow. I wish you the best of luck in gaining something I truly value and cherish. Do not take it for granted.
Thoughts from the Author
Although respect is highly valued, it has no effect without the overall well-being of your team in mind. Your goal as a leader, should be to inspire and help those around you to grow. Without a positive outcome in mind, respect will crumble.
Yaritza Ellison has been an nurse since 2010. She has been essential to the healing process of many and seeks to continue to do so. Her passion for mental health and self help literature has lead her to launch justyari.org, where she aspires to coach young ladies navigating through work-life balance.