Respecting Others As We Would Have Them Respect Us

Posted on April 9, 2010


Team Leadership, photo from

Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

This common saying has far reaching applications in the workplace, as it has in our everyday life. Many times, we may find ourselves furious at others for not treating us as we hope they would, or wishing that they would meet our expectations. However, we fail to realise that we are treating others in the exact same way, and by our own criteria, we ourselves would fail. This is often very true when it comes to respect.

We often ridicule how other members of our workplace, be it our bosses, peers or subordinates display blatant insensitivity and lack of consideration for us, and even wondered how they came so far in the first place. These ‘disrespectful’ category of people may have dismissed what we say without giving it due consideration. They may have spoken sarcastically or in a demeaning manner towards us or our ideas, or they may even have taken lightly the promises that they made with us. Whichever the case, we know that the feeling of being treated this way was certainly unpleasant.

Being the flexible and capable leader we are, we then realise that it boils down one question. Have we ever done something similar to others too? Is such behaviour, perhaps, even a pattern in our life? Are we bearing the same behaviour we vehemently disgust?

As leaders we understand that it is crucial to treat our team members with respect. In order to maintain a healthy workplace culture, it is necessary to respect the efforts and ideas of our team members. In order to maintain an open environment, we must avoid criticizing our team members for speaking their views, regardless of how much we disagree with it. In order to maintain self esteem and self efficacy of the team, it is pertinent to construct our conversations carefully to commend them when they have done well and avoid breaking them down when they have failed.

As transformational leaders, we further realise that respect in speech and action is absolutely necessary to develop our team in constantly learning to play their role better as well as to bring out the best in them. Self worth, self confidence, open mindedness, all these would not be possible should the leader constantly put them down by degrading words and actions.

From both the leader’s and the subordinate’s points of view, respect will go on to fuel the coordination in individuals and allow the team to perform at its ever growing peak. It brings out the best in each member of the team and resultantly the team as a whole. A leader who understands this leadership lesson will be endowed with much more successful ways to lead his team to success.

See also: