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Monica Wofford, CSP, is a leadership development expert and author of Contagious Leadership and newly released, Make Difficult People Disappear.

Do you respect or like the ones you lead? How do they feel about you?

In Make Difficult People Disappear, I talk about those you lead being different, versus difficult. But the question then becomes “Do you respect those differences of those you lead?” We like people who are like us. Yet, respecting the ones who are different is what results in real creativity and leaps to the next level of leadership. But, how do you do that and get others to follow your lead?

Earn their Respect, even if not their affection

You can be a leader with a different style than what they’d like and still earn their respect. It’s about how you treat people. Do you insist they always do it your way? Do you believe in and create an environment in which things can’t be fun, while still getting stuff done? If you’re not just like them, do you at least exhibit behaviors for which they can show respect? Find out what they need from you to feel motivated themselves and they will at least respect you for giving them what they need, even if they don’t like the style in which it’s delivered.

Teach them they don’t have to like each other to work together

Ever heard that infamous phrase? If you’re telling this to team members, make sure they have a model to follow as most won’t know how this is done. Have them find attributes of their co-workers that they appreciate and teach them to recognize that you can respect how consistently one helps a customer even if you don’t like how they always point out what you do wrong.

Leadership is a people-centric activity and if your focus is on them, they’ll like you more. (who wouldn’t like it to be all about them!) But, there are times when things are changing or the chips are down and you slip into task master. They may not like that style, but they can still respect your leadership. They may not like what you ask them to do, but still respect the need for it to be done.

Are you working on earning their respect or trying to be the favorite person on the playground? One will get you more consistent results and the exclusive focus on the other will get you friends to hang with on Friday night when you’re all potentially … unemployed.

Have a great Monday, an even better week and of course, stay contagious!

Your leadership style and strengths change how you lead and are perceived by others. Find out how you lead with this quick online assessment.

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