HR Forum

Earning respect the right way

Question: I am tired of some people who continue to oppose the way I run my department. Honestly, I have already reached the edge of my tolerance and patience in having to defend my views, decisions and leadership style over the last four years.

Although I have won the war of taming them all this while, I have still lost the ‘battle’ as I have lost some good people except the bunch of disloyal and discontented people who are still sticking around.

My bosses are now warning me that the situation may turn worse and that I got to do something fast to avoid more ‘bloodshed’. I want to do a makeover to gain their trust and respect and be on the same page with the many things we do. How do I start?

Answer: Gaining your people’s respect is gaining their trust as well. This is the first and probably the only place to start and work on seriously. Their general perception of you that I can imagine is not much of it right now. As long as this situation persists, no matter what you do, rightly or wrongly, is still wrong to them!

Trust is a kind of maturity where you feel secure with yourself and where you also have the confidence that there are more good people than bad who will support you than harm you.

This is the most basic in the law of attraction where you will attract the kind of positive or negative energy, depending on how you want it. When this can happen, you can then look into other ways of building trust with people.

Here are some areason how to build trust. Firstly, it is about your truth telling, which is easily gauged from the extent of congruence in what you do and say in both your spoken and unspoken words at all times. Secondly, it is about your dependability, which is determined by how frequent your promises are kept. Thirdly, it is your predictability,which is measured by the number of surprises (or shocks) they experience in your mood swings orin the decisions you make. Fourthly, it is your sincerity in striving for the common good of everyone instead of promoting your self-interests only. Lastly, it is your respect for others in safeguarding their dignity and pride and not abusing their feeling, self image and their values.


• What insights have you gained from the different encounters with your people?

• What do they tell you that you ought to do?

• Where is the respect for others placed in your value system?

• How will you feel when you live up to it?

Article by Dr Michael Heah, an ICF Credentialed Coach with