12 Ways Leaders Humiliate Others

Foolish leaders use power and position to make others feel insignificant.

Humiliation motivates, but never in positive directions.

 leaders protect the dignity of others

Showing disrespect invites disrespect.

Stealing someone’s dignity destroys passion and encourages disloyalty. You may feel you’ve won by putting someone down, but you always lose.

12 ways leaders humiliate others:

  1. Tying mistakes to character.
  2. Interjecting yourself into another’s public presentation.
  3. Pointing out flaws, mistakes, or shortfalls in public.
  4. “Innocent” sarcasm. Sarcasm is a coward’s way of saying what they really think.
  5. Assuming the worst, before exploring realities.
  6. Interrupting while someone is speaking.
  7. Asking questions that make subordinates look foolish.
  8. Giving unrequested advice, publicly.
  9. Making insignificant corrections and additions.
  10. Over-generalizing issues by using terms like “always.”
  11. Talking about someone as if they weren’t there.
  12. Stealing honor that belongs to another.


Belittled people engage in destructive behaviors.

When you disrespect others, they disrespect you. Most likely, they’ll do it behind your back.

People who feel disrespected feel empowered to lie, pilfer, sabotage, and self-protect at the expense of others.

7 ways to save another’s face:

Leaders protect the dignity of others.

  1. Be yourself. Don’t feel the need to lift yourself by putting others down.
  2. Believe others want to help, unless there’s clear evidence to the contrary.
  3. Ask, “What am I missing,” when you feel someone pushing back. Avoid the trap of pushing back when you feel push back.
  4. Bolster the image of others in the eyes of others.
  5. Speak in private when confronting or challenging.
  6. Employ good manners, always. Another’s poor behavior is never an excuse for you to behave in-kind.
  7. Speak the truth with kindness. Smile, unless a smile might seem frivolous or disrespectful.

Feeling respect is feeling valued. Giving respect is valuing others.

Why it matters:

Make it safe to collaborate.

Collaborative environments require trust that’s built on respect.

How do leaders steal the power of others?

How might leaders protect the dignity of others?