Blog 014 – Earn Respect From Your Team The Simple Way


Respect is one of those words that mean different things to different people. For some, respect is demanded immediately. For others, respect is earned after a period of time. The reasons for this wide range of views on respect is equally as vast. It could be due to the generation you grew up in, the ethnicity you were brought up in, the life experiences you have had or witnessed, the list goes on and on.

So, how do you earn respect from a team that could be very diverse in their views of who gets what type of respect?

If you had the luxury of building or picking your team, and you understood the type of character traits, skill set, knowledge, experience, and personalities you needed, you have an advantage over the majority of teams. This blog will be looking at a team that is very diverse and make earning respect a simple process. Remember, we here at Managing Made Simple establish simple processes for success…. because we know it isn’t easy to do.

So, back to the question…. how do you earn respect from a team that could be very diverse in their views?

You have to accept this simple fact….

“Everything people do, they do based on feeling … then use logic to support it.”

This fact is one of the fundamental principles of the Managing Made Simple system. If you are unsure of the validity of this fact, for the next 48 hours, for everything you do write down the following;

  1. Why did you do it?
  2. Why is that reason is important?
  3. Why is the reason in 2 important?

By reason 3, you will have one of two types of answers. It will either be because you “want to” or because there is a law, rule, or agreement needing to be followed (“you need to”). As odd as this sounds, if you do the 48 hour test, you will be quite surprised.

So why is this little test important?

You want the team to respect you, and you want to respect the team. From a business viewpoint, respect has to be built on a foundation of “laws, rules, and agreements needing to be followed”. The only time personal “wants” (which are based on feelings first) fit in to the equations is when those personal wants fit the business laws, rules, and agreements. That’s it. A diverse group of people working on a team have to follow the business “laws, rules, and agreements”. Their personal wants don’t have a place if they do not fit the business laws, rules and agreements. But read on, the simple steps you learn will give you the opportunity to have them have their personal wants influence and affect their processes.

What does this mean to me?

Well, if you are managing a team, the first thing you need to do is ensure that the laws, rules and agreements are clear to everyone. You don’t want to have a genuinely hard working team work without knowing the laws, rules and agreements. This is where you begin to have respect earned by you and by your team. You need to educate them on the laws, rules, and agreements, and educate to them why they are important to the business.

What does this get me in return?

This discussion provides you an opportunity to see who knows the laws, rules, and agreements and who doesn’t. Who should know them and doesn’t. It gives you perspective on the team, regardless whether or not they want to accept the business laws, rules and agreements. From this discussion you will begin to understand what type of team you have.

How much of the laws, rules, and agreements do I need to get into?

That is a question you will find out when you start the dialog with the team.

How do I start the discussion?

Begin with reading our Blog 009 – OMG – You Mean I Have To Lead A Team! The end of the blog has the 3 steps to follow to begin to lead a team. When everyone begins to define the expectations they believe need to be met, that’s when the reasons for the expectations are talked about… this is when you will naturally bring up the laws, rules, and agreements that validate what can and what cannot be done.

How Does This Discussion Lead to Earning Respect?

An interesting thing happens when genuine dialog happens between people. If the discussion is based upon the expectations of the business first, then the options that are available to get results produced become more clear. When the business expectations are defined first (laws, rules, and agreements), then the team will have a better understanding of the range of options they have to work with. If you allow them to provide options that work for them that still fit the business laws, rules and agreements, you are acknowledging and validating their logical conclusions and therefore validating their personal feelings. This validation is very important in earning respect from your team. If the roles were reversed, and you were one of the team members, you would want this from acknowledgment from your manager.

Remember this fact “Everything people do, they do based on feeling … they then use logic to support it.”

When the team wants to do something that fits within the business laws, rules and agreements, even if it isn’t the way you would do it, don’t discount it, learn from them. Ask them “why” they want to do it that way. Do this and watch the respect they have for you begin to build.

That Sounds A Little Odd To Do. How Can You Say It Works?

We could go into personal history and experiences to validate this, but we have something far greater to support this simple process…. Television.

Some of you may have heard of the TV series Undercover Boss ( For those of you who have not, the TV producers have built a TV show around placing executives and managers in the work environments of their businesses in an undercover capacity and having them view and experience the responsibilities and environments their teams face on a daily basis. Every week, viewers are able to watch as the employees of these companies explain the issues they face as they try and produce the results upper management is expecting. This show also gives viewers the opportunity to physically experience some of the feelings and emotion the employees and upper managements feel throughout the episode.

On a consistent basis, the “Undercover Boss” begins to see and feel the issues their teams face. They begin to ask questions to see “why” things are done a certain way. They ask what are new ways to do things, new resources they should get to produce better results. It’s only at the end of the show that the employees see and feel how appreciated they are by the company, when the undercover boss is revealed, and what differences they have now made to the company. In the show’s conclusion, a whole new respect is formed between the person in the management position and the rest of the team.

Here is just one write up of the experience of an “Undercover Boss”.

Ok, I think I’m Getting It… But Summarize this up for me.

No Problem.

  1. Everything in a business is first based on laws, rules and agreements. Those must be met at all times. So, make sure your team knows what they have to comply with while doing their tasks.
  2. Everything you, as a manager, explain to the team, you must be able to defend. If they ask why the team has to comply with a specific policy (laws, rules and agreements), explain to them the rationale of the policy.
  3. Once you have explained the laws, rules and agreements, let your team have the floor to explain how they would like to do things. Get them to answer the “whys” so you can see if it is based on a business foundation of laws, rules and agreements, or because of personal logic (based on feelings).
  4. Listen and understand your team’s points of view. It is an amazing opportunity to get some new perspective on the environment of your team.
  5. If there are some valid concerns they have brought up regarding the business’s laws, rules and agreements, you will need to look into them to see if there are opportunities to adjust them.
  6. If they have options for processes, resources, etc, that fit within the boundaries of the business laws, rules, and agreements, allow them the opportunity to do it their way. Acknowledge the validity of their logic (and thus validating their feelings).
  7. Move forward together with a plan that has the flexibility for the team to implement the processes they believe in that fits the business laws, rules and agreements.

And that’s it.

It’s a simple process. Now this isn’t an easy process, but success does not come from easy processes. If we want success, we want simple processes that work. All you need is the ability to invest some of your time. If done with genuine intent, your investment will pay off amazing dividends in the future.

Until We Meet Again….

Managing Made Simple

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