How to Bust the Culture of Consumption and Create an Atmosphere of Respect

The greatest temptation any leader faces is to treat people like things and things like people. That happens easier than you think, and it isn’t always obvious to the leader or even their team. If you are a results-oriented leader, you know the temptation to push people (including yourself) to the limit. Without realizing it, you may create a culture of consumption, using up the precious human capital entrusted to your care.

Unsure if this is happening? Examine the interactions between team members. They’ll treat one another the same way they believe they are treated by you.

Every good leader understands that his or her employees are not mere robots. They have feelings, emotions, and personal needs. They should be listened to, affirmed, and treated with respect. Here’s how to bust the culture of consumption and create an atmosphere of R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Relate. Authenticity is one of our culture’s highest values. Don’t hide behind a desk or title. Own your weaknesses as well as your strengths.

Engage. As the leader, you have the responsibility for involving others in what you are doing. Seek advice and input from the team. Bring them into the huddle. Listen.

Spend. Relational culture has a cost. You’ll need to spend time, energy, and perhaps some money to show employees they are valued.

Protect. Be the fiercest defender of your staff, both within the organization and without. They’ll return the favor.

Encourage. Don’t allow a team member to languish after a setback or failure. And never play the blame game. Help pick up them and move forward.

Communicate. Nobody wants a boss who expects them to become a mind reader. Make expectations clear, and give people the respect of sharing information.

Teach. Younger team members especially hunger for a mentor. Be a teacher as well as a leader.

Human beings are complex, but creating a positive culture isn’t. Show respect, and you’ll receive it in return.