Areas Where Leaders Can Model Respect


I had a client ask me if there is one leadership practice that could work in any setting. After a bit of batting ideas and exploring options, we ended up with respect. Aretha Franklin was right – “just a little bit” of R-E-S-P-E-C-T goes a long way.

Here are nine ways to demonstrate and build respect with your team:


During meetings, ask for feedback or insights from each person. Respect their time, and work to make the discussion as positive and productive as possible to support the team and goals. Whenever possible, end early.

Business Relationships

Get to know people beyond their company role – respect starts with beginning to know the human. Regardless of their reason for connecting with you, treat them as you would treat your most treasured client, customer, and boss. You will then establish amazing relationships that will expand and support you for decades.


Engage all stakeholders in the building of a plan and gain their input and ideas. Inclusion is always a great first step toward respect.

Conflict Management

Show respect for the importance of the topic to the individual by seeking first to understand. Let them know you understand their perspective and jointly work together to find a solution.


Seek to learn about the person or organization you would like to work with. Celebrate what they have accomplished, understand their vision and how your product or services align with their goals, and collaborate to find a good match between your offering and their vision.

Individual Meetings

Respect what the individual brings to the table and co-develop the best approach to the next set of goals. Take time to understand their view and what makes good sense to move forward. Remember, each person is different and how they define respect is not the same. Start with active listening and you will hit the mark more often than not.


Differences of opinions and perspectives make the solution better. Encourage team members to seek out various applications, best practices, and successes of others to find a better way. The world is changing and when different is embraced, we change with ease.


Respect everyone’s time and goals, your own as well as others, and watch your productivity go up.


Remember that things are not always as simple as you would like. Take the time to understand all the nuances to find a clear path forward for all. This will always serve others, the situation, and you, very well.

Respect is a golden thread in the tapestry of leadership. Lean into the practice of respect when you are in a place of ambiguity or uncertainty. Ask what or who needs to be respected at this moment and watch how things unfold.

Continue to thrive,