Are you your employees' friend? Or leader?

How to stop being nice and start being respected


Would you rather be liked or respected by your employees? A common misconception is that becoming friends with your staff encourages them to work harder for you. However, the truth is much different.

While it’s healthy to share a positive relationship with your employees, anyone who has invested in extensive management development training will know that respect is significantly more effective at boosting productivity and reaching workplace goals.

The problem with being nice is that some opportunistic staff members may try to take advantage of your good nature while others avoid telling you the truth for fear of upsetting someone.

Have you ever avoided firing an unsuitable hire, allowed a customer to delay payments at months at a time or failed to discipline a troubling staff member? Chances are you might be too nice.

Here are a few easy steps you can take to ensure you earn the respect you need to effectively run your team.

Address how people treat you

If you simply accept when an employee is being aggressive and pushy, you are teaching your staff that this behaviour is okay. Instead, you need to respond assertively to any unacceptable attitudes to ensure your workers understand how to suitably address you.

Be tough on yourself and others

Often, people who are overly nice also have a rosy view on their own actions. If you constantly try to see the best in people, you may be missing flaws in your own work ethic and performance.

Try taking a more critical look at your actions – the tougher you are on yourself, the more respect you will be able to command from your employees. However, it is important to maintain a balance between critical thinking and self-confidence. The goal is to show certainty in your decisions, while also embracing a culture of self-improvement.

Developing your skills as a respected leader can include taking part in negotiation courses and management training, for example.

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