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Managing with Respect

The divide between management and employees is often touted as key to effective leadership.   Many managers believe that they need to create distance to maintain a respectful relationship.

We also hear constantly that respect has to be earned.  In the old days, the title alone earned respect.   Today, people are very critical of people in senior and public roles.

Our right to question corruption, ineffectiveness and inefficiencies in management has to be a part of keeping businesses honest.

There are ways, though, and treating people with respect, no matter what they have done, creates a generally more positive work environment.

We have moved a long way from being able to publicly humiliate staff who have not done their jobs properly.   It does not mean that issues are not confronted, simply that they are confronted as confidentially as possible.

There are some negatives around this, not least that other employees might believe the transgressor has not been dealt with, particularly if the guilty party does not show any signs of being sorry or continues the behaviour.

Consistency around disciplinary issues needs to be closely aligned with a respect model, or there will be a loss of respect for management's abilities to manage effectively.   It is a very fine line!

A CODE of good practice:

Corridor - Never
Office -     If possible, or somewhere private
Discuss -   As calmly as possible
Engage -   An objective facilitator, if possible

It is also true that there are people who mistake being treated respectfully and following due process as weakness.   The reality is that while respectful treatment might not always be appreciated, it is a minority who react this way.

Most people flourish under managers who are appreciative and treat them as if they matter.


Links, References and Notes



email:      tschroenn@accsys.co.za
twitter:   @TerylSchroenn

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