It is an extremely simple concept, but also an extremely important strategy for achieving greater success: Treat everyone with respect.
This is particularly essential for effective and inspirational leadership. Great leaders strive to be approachable by anyone, regardless of status or title. One key aspect of that is demonstrating respect toward everyone. A great first step is to show genuine interest and concern for others, doing your best to make time for each person with whom you interact. Show respect and appreciation for individuals’ opinions, ideas, work, families, and time.
Of course even the most inspirational leaders are still only human. We all have limited time and resources to engage every person and address every problem, and we certainly will encounter people who are difficult to connect with—or even downright unpleasant. Nonetheless, strive to see every person as innately valuable and worthy of your time, attention, and respect.
It is this attitude of genuine respect and consideration that forms the foundation of true approachability. And leaders who are available, accessible, and approachable are the ones who truly inspire people. To put it simply, people want to follow and work for leaders who genuinely care, respect, and make time for them as individuals.
Through small but significant gestures and everyday actions you can demonstrate to those you lead and influence that you respect and value each of them. Whether it’s making a point to remember individuals’ names, intentionally making time to speak with them, or simply verbalizing appreciation for their work, your genuine consideration and respect will make a huge impact!
[This article was adapted from Chapter 7 of my book, Be An Inspirational Leader]