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How Honest Leaders Destroy Their Leadership

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No trust – – no leadership.

You can coerce without trust but positive influence thrives on the foundation of trust.

Losing influence is easy because losing trust is incredibly easy.

Trust and respect:

It takes more than honesty to preserve trust; you must show respect.

People stop trusting you when you disrespect them, even when you’re honest.

Danger of disrespect:

When you lose trust by making people feel disrespected, people give themselves permission to question your character and motives. Honesty is not the issue.

You can be honest and lose trust.

Not only do they judge your character, they feel justified, even compelled, to “warn” others about you. You can’t be trusted.

Protecting Trust:

People trust you when they feel respected by you.

When they feel disrespected, however, they are disrespected. Perception is reality.

10 Behaviors that help people feel disrespected

  1. Rushed exchanges. You don’t have time for them.
  2. Unilateral decisions. Lack of participation in decisions that directly impact them.
  3. Poor listening. They don’t feel understood.
  4. Rudeness.
  5. Unsolicited advice.
  6. Emphasizing failure as a tool to motivate forward momentum.
  7. Favoritism.
  8. Cutting them off when they’re speaking.
  9. Rescheduling appointments.
  10. Watching your computer while talking.

10 ways to show respect:

  1. The opposites of the list above.
  2. Invite feedback.
  3. Gently, clearly tell it like it is, even when they disagree.
  4. Appreciate their skills and talents.
  5. Give opportunities.
  6. Admire their contribution and accomplishments.
  7. Public acknowledgement.
  8. Use their title.
  9. Acknowledge their challenges and struggles.
  10. Hold phone calls and other communications while they’re speaking.

The challenging truth:

They won’t keep trusting you if you don’t convince them they’re respected.


How do you demonstrate respect for others?

How do leaders demonstrate disrespect for others?


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