Earlier this week I was asked by a colleague if I thought it was better to be liked versus being respected. She needed to know my thoughts as soon as possible as she was having a meeting to discuss this topic with her staff the following day.
Being under the gun I gave her my knee-jerk reaction...we all worry too much about such things rather concentrating on WHO we ARE...what WE BELIEVE...
This is what I KNOW...I can't MAKE anyone like or dislike me...respect or disrespect me as it is THEIR decision to make based on who I AM, how I represent myself, what I DO or don't do...if I try to please everyone, I'm not ME, I'm a creation of who I believe people WANT me to be....I'm seen as wishy-washy, indecisive and as a result, no one likes or respects me...SO...consider this quote from Alan Sugar, “A good leader is not necessarily the most popular person in their business, but the best ones ARE liked because they are respected for their clarity and vision.”
Kate Nesser, in her blog states, that she continues to hear leaders say they must choose between being respected and being liked. “The good news,” she says, “it’s not true. Moreover, it is important not to trade one for the other. Respected well-liked leaders inspire, engage, and foster organizational success.” She continues by offering the following 18 points that RESPECTED, WELL-LIKED leaders do consistently.
Respected well-liked leaders are like-able but they don’t seek to be liked at every moment. They don’t avoid situations just to be liked.
They communicate with honesty and civility not bluntness and disdain.
Respected well-liked leaders take time to get to know people. They don’t come on at the beginning like everyone’s best friend. They show comfort in leadership and over time in friendship.
Respected well-liked leaders appreciate and recognize effort and talent as much as results and success. They understand and accept the human need for appreciation and encouragement. Leaders who think that praise weakens teams weaken their teams by skipping the praise.
They are confident and humble. Respected well-liked leaders illustrate how to be self-assured while sharing the spotlight with others. They are selfless not faceless.
They are open-minded not indecisive. They listen and consider many views and weigh in with their expertise. They know that empowerment is not abandonment. They know when to tell, when to ask; when to wait and when to take action.
In difficult moments, they give empathy as well as possible solutions. Respected leaders use their expertise and vision to solve problems. Respected well-liked leaders attend to the human needs as well.
Respected well-liked leaders rise above their own pet peeves. By focusing on others’ needs instead of their own personal preferences, leaders become respected as well as liked. Those who constantly expect everyone to cater to their personal preferences are disrespected and disliked.
They improve their high emotional intelligence every day. Respected well-liked leaders develop their social skills to greet people warmly. They evolve their self-awareness to be the model of self-regulation.
Respected well-liked leaders are optimistic and realistic. They have healthy skepticism without being pessimistic and jaded.
They create an environment where it is safe to innovate and change. Change can be scary. Respected well-liked leaders don’t quarantine their courage; they make it contagious!
They show up fully for themselves and others every day. They energize others and model true contribution.
Respected well-liked leaders live and exhibit love of diversity. They don’t create clones; they spot and develop diverse talent. Who wouldn’t respect and like that!
Respected well-liked leaders put the “we go” before the ego.
They put themselves on the line with their teams. They address unfairness, bullying, cliques, chronic complainers, and slackers. You never hear them say, “just work it out yourselves.”
Respected well-liked leaders seek and inspire excellence, not perfectionism. Their reasonableness has room for forgiveness that develops a valuable culture of learning and accountability.
Respected well-liked leaders are a buoy (not the buoy) of inspiration and balance. Their energy and light guide everyone from the gray zone of confusion to the end zone of success. The team members then buoy each other.
They communicate very well. Their words and tone inspire greatness without leaving scars. They reach others they don’t preach to others. They call everyone to change and grow while honoring who they are. This is why these leaders are respected and well-liked.
Only you can decide what works best for you, but stop putting yourself in either/or situations such as respected or liked…more often than not it’s the and/both that you really seek…
Be good to yourself…