Are You A Respectful Leader?

Are You A Respectful Leader?

  • December 10, 2021

Anytime I ask a leader if they think they’re a respectful leader the answer is ‘yes’. Yet when I ask their team if they feel the same way, quite often,  the response is a ‘no’. Usually it’s because the leader assumes they’re respectful because they don’t necessarily lead by ‘fear’ or aggressive authority. But there’s so much more to respect than that.


Back in my early days as a leader, I used to start the year by setting myself annual behavioural goals, and ‘showing my colleagues respect’ was on the list three years in a row! Not because I was aggressive, dictatorial or intentionally rude. It was because I honestly didn’t know how to shut my mouth. I constantly needed to speak, I interrupted when colleagues spoke (not because I was trying to be rude, but because I was excited) and I would barely listen because I was always waiting to speak.


Did I do any of these things because I wanted to be in charge and not allow others to say what they had to say? No, it was just a poor, excitable habit of mine that I was very aware of and understood how it was a sign of disrespect. So, I worked my way out of the habit! This is the important thing. Simply believing that you’re respectful doesn’t make it true, you have to be aware of what you’re doing.


Ask yourself, honestly:


1. Do I accept that I’m not always the smartest person in the room?

2. When I disagree, do I explain why?

3. Do I understand there are occasions when I’m wrong?

4. Have I ever hesitated to say I’m sorry?

5. Am I consistently patient?


If the answer to any of these are ‘no’ or ‘sometimes’…Wake up and smell the coffee! We have work to do…



Written by Sahar Habib
Founder of Coach Wilson