“Would you rather be liked or respected?” It’s a weird question to be asked, because it’s really silly to think that it’s impossible to be a leader that’s respected and liked as a person. You don’t have to be Miranda Priestly, respected but absolutely feared to the point where she’s referred to as a devil, nor should you be like Michael Scott, who is nice enough as a person, but isn’t a great boss. Here are a few things to remember to balance being respected and liked:
1. Don’t seek to be liked.
Remember not to avoid situations just so you’re liked.
2. Take time to know your people.
Understand that friendship doesn’t happen right away.
3. Be confident but humble.
Be self-assured, but share the limelight with your team.
4. Be open-minded.
Consider other views, and then weigh in.
5. Don’t let your pet peeves get in the way.
Focus on other’s needs rather than your own personal preferences.
6. Encourage diversity.
Don’t create clones.
7. Put yourself in the line with your team.
“Work it out for yourselves!” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary.
8. Seek excellence, not perfection.
Be reasonable, and make room for forgiveness when mistakes happen.
9. Provide empathy.
Attend to your team’s human needs, not just their employee needs.
10. Encourage innovation.
Change is scary, but necessary. Give your team the courage when change happens.
Being likeable alone limits you as a boss, and being respected alone is a very isolated way to live. Learn more at John Robert Powers.