— February 17, 2019
Simple question for today: Do the people on your team take you seriously?
That can be sort of a fuzzy thing to define, but you probably have a pretty good instinct for it: Your team either respects you and deems you credible or they don’t, and whatever your gut’s telling you on this issue, it’s probably right.
So, if you don’t like the answer to my question, and you want to take some simple steps to get taken a little more seriously, let me offer just a few quick guidelines.
How to Be Taken Seriously as a Leader
Show respect. The best way to get respect is to give it—and that means extending respect to every member of the team, from the folks in the C-suite to the people who clean the floors. Get to know people’s names. Treat everyone with decency and kindness. And don’t ever act like anyone’s job is somehow unimportant. Respect is a two-way street!
School yourself. Another way to be taken seriously is to be self-critical, acknowledging your limitations but also working to learn and to grow. Analyze some of the areas where your leadership skills fall short and consider either coaching or continuing education classes to become stronger.
Be an active listener. Communication is everything, and it starts with active listening. Start talking less, giving your team members a chance to be heard. Acknowledge and thank them for their comments and feedback, and only speak when you feel like you understand what your team members are saying.
Always be prepared. This can be as simple as arriving at the office a few minutes early so that you can review the data and the agenda for your morning meetings. Basically, if you want people to take you seriously, try not to let them see you be caught off guard!
Set boundaries. Being respected is not the same thing as being everyone’s buddy—and while I definitely see value in regularly spending social time with your team, you also need to create some boundaries around your personal and family life.
These are just a few things you can think about as you try to earn the respect of your team—and if you have any further questions, I’d love to chat with you about my executive coaching services!