When you think of a stereotypical ‘boss’, what comes to mind is a demonic, tyrannical, hard-nosed behemoth of a man, sat in a lavish office on the top floor dressed in a £2,000 suit, whilst barking demands that are probably just as unreasonable as this stereotype I’m describing now.

Of course in reality, many bosses are hard but fair, seldom warranting complaints. It’s a difficult job, having to lead and manage people. I suppose that’s why it’s not for everyone.

Leading people is one of the most crucial aspects of management, and a deciding factor in how well people will work for you is how much they respect you.

Often, it’s a delicate balance, and that’s what we’re going to look at in this post.


it’s a delicate balance

  • Be strong

It goes without saying that if you’re a pushover, your staff will begin to take advantage of you and won’t respect your authority. While you don’t want to be a dictator, you do have to show that you are the boss, and ultimately you make the decisions. Stick with them even if they aren’t the popular choice, after all – you’re the one in charge.

  • But be human too

As stated above, you don’t want to come across as a ruler in a totalitarian regime. It’s important to assert authority but showing a human side goes a long way to your staff respecting you as a person. Be available to them for anything they might have to say, and don’t be afraid of sometimes doing work assigned to them. Certainly in my experience, I often helped with tasks that I gave to my staff, to show them that what I was asking wasn’t unreasonable. Which leads me onto…

  • Team ethic

Instilling a team mentality is crucial to gaining your staff’s respect. While you may be above them in terms of hierarchy, you’re still one part of a much bigger chain. Making your staff aware of this makes them feel valued and improves respect all around the team. It also helps eliminate the outdated ‘us and them’ mentality towards management and staff.

The importance of respect cannot be understated; it is often the difference between an efficient team and a not so efficient one, and therefore your effectiveness as a leader. Implementing these characteristics in your work life is the start to having better respect in the workplace.

What tactics do you employ to gain respect from your staff? Do you have any stories about workplace respect that you’d like to share? If so, let us know in the comments below!