When managers hire employees, they expect them to be hardworking, trustworthy, and ethical. After all, these are important qualities to have in an employee. However, managers need to be equally cognizant of these qualities and strive to demonstrate them. All too often leaders take their titles for granted and believe respect is owed to them simply because of their position. In reality, leaders need to realize that respect is something that is earned and not given. In today’s workplace where millennials are highly influential, trust and respect is hard to come by so in order for a manager to earn respect, they must learn to lead with authority. Successful leaders are those who know how to influence people and oftentimes their ability to influence comes from authority. Here are a few tips for how to lead with authority in order to earn respect.
Authority figures don’t have to be “bossy” as much as they must be confident. Think of any authoritative figure you have ever known. Chances are they believed in themselves and their ability and their confidence were something you respected about them. If you want to earn respect you need to trust yourself and your instincts. If you say you are going to do something, you better mean it and make it happen. You need to speak with conviction and incorporate stronger phrases in your speech such as “I know this is correct” rather than “I think so.” Authority doesn’t always have to be a negative thing. One thing all strong and authoritative figures have in common is confidence.
In order to lead with authority, you must be willing to speak your mind. It’s ok to be opinionated and it’s ok to make your voice heard. When you speak up, say it with conviction and other people will begin to respect you and what you have to say. No great leader got where they were by sitting back and listening. These leaders were the ones who were willing to speak up!
Treat Everyone with Respect
Leading with authority means more than simply telling people what to do. It also means showing respect to everyone across the board. Regardless of someone’s job position or level, treat everyone with the same respect. Remember, to get respect you must give it.
Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Leading with authority also means setting clearly defined goals and making sure employees know exactly what is expected of them. Part of being in a leadership position means taking the time to ensure everyone knows exactly what they need to be doing in order to reach their goals. However, it doesn’t stop there. Great leaders assign roles and expectations, but also spend time helping others to achieve them. Get involved with your employees and make sure you are available to answer questions and check in regularly.
Hold Everyone Accountable
Part of leading with authority means holding everyone, including yourself, accountable for their actions. Make sure everyone shows up on time, adheres to the company dress code, follows company policies, completes their work on time, and treats others with respect. If you let things slide and don’t treat everyone equally, you will quickly lose the respect of your employees. That’s why it’s important to remain firm and fair when it comes to holding everyone accountable for their actions.
Another attribute of an authority figure is the ability to listen. Contrary to popular belief, leading with authority is more about listening than it is barking orders. A great leader listens to their employees, knows what’s going on around them, respects the opinions of others, and engages with others when they are speaking. When employees feel like you are listening to them and their needs, they are much more likely to respect you as a leader.