Every leader’s ideal relationship to their subordinates requires some way of measuring likability and respect. A likable leader are certain to get along with subordinates on an individual level, and they’ll manage to enjoy each other’s company, making the workday more fun and boosting morale.
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A good leader, furthermore, will command attention, discipline, and obedience from subordinates, that will lead to a far more organized workplace, and a firmer hierarchy in the business.
The problem is, respectability and likability exist, in a few ways, on a spectrum. Taking an action which makes you more likable might lose you some respect. And taking an action that commands respect will make you less likable. So, can you really be both liked and respected? And if not, which is more important?
Respect as essential
First, as a leader, recognize that respect is essential, and it could exist both as a kind of compliance and in a freely given form. For instance, most employees will observe your commands because they know they could be fired if indeed they don’t; that is respect as a kind of compliance.
Another band of employees might admire your leadership style, and personally desire to follow your directives to allow them to align themselves with that style; that is respect freely given.
But, whether or not the respect you command is freely given or given in the name of compliance, it really is a complete necessity for a leader; if your workers don’t respect you, they could not follow your orders; or they might be exceptionally difficult to control. That is why, respect takes priority over likability.
The problem with likability
So, how come likability a problem? It isn’t, necessarily, nonetheless it can influence the next effects:
Diminished value. In a few ways, a boss who’s more likable is a boss that’s less valuable. Being friendly with someone establishes you as a peer; and under ordinary social circumstances, being regarded as a peer can cause more trust and tighter relationships.
But if you wish to be considered a leader, bringing yourself right down to the amount of “peer” can decrease others’ perceptions of your skills and abilities. For instance, in at least one experiment, waiters who treated their patrons with exceptional friendliness actually made less overall in tips than their colder, more neutral counterparts. There are lots of potential explanations because of this, but the important thing is that adding friendliness to the partnership doesn’t inherently increase your value, especially in a specialist environment.
Compromises and deviations. Being “friendly” inherently means being more agreeable. An agreeable person is one who’s ready to make compromises for someone else, or who deviates from set standards to perform some personal task. For instance, you may make more exceptions for someone’s lateness to become viewed as friendlier and more accommodating.
Occasionally, there’ll be nothing wrong with this, but if you’re always making compromises merely to become more likable, you’ll lose respect and authority as a leader.
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Personal vs. professional. Friendliness can be inherently personal, instead of professional, and if you wish to be respected as a leader, you have to err privately of professionalism.
Research demonstrates having friendships in the task environment improves morale and productivity, not forgetting employee retention. But those studies focus only on friendships between peers. If you would like to be treated as though you’re at an increased level, you have to put yourself on an increased level.
The consequences of an lack of likability
That said, likability can be a very important thing for a boss — at least somewhat. If you’re un likable, you may see some nasty unwanted effects:
- Office culture. If you’re too firm, uncompromising or staunch in your demeanor, the complete company culture could suffer at your hands-the way it did at Uber under Travis Kalanick’s leadership. A toxic workplace culture isn’t likely to be best for your employees — even if indeed they appear to follow your direction.
- Fear or intimidation. If the respect you command turns to fear, or intimidation, your employees will hesitate to let you know what they think. Employee turnover will rise, and you won’t have the ability to trust anything your subordinates let you know.
- Team dynamics. If you’re actively disliked, that situation will make it extremely difficult to get anything done as a team. Even if you’re a rung above everybody else, you’ll depend on your coworkers to perform your targets, and alienating them can interfere strongly together with your eventual results.
Finding a balance
It’s valuable to think about your image as a leader as an individual brand, where you’re in charge of the dynamics. Being too likable and friendly will set you back some way of measuring respect, but concentrating on respect so much that it certainly makes you unlikable can be a problem.
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Instead, make an effort to look for a balance between both of these dimensions, and create the type