Respect is the foundation upon which any union is built, be it a marriage, congregation, volunteer team, or project group. As the leader, you can encourage respect within your work team by modeling it. First, be consistent—walk your talk! Do what you say you are going to do. Second, practice common courtesy. Be on time (or early!) for meetings, be cordial, admit when you are wrong, and forgive others for their mistakes. By doing these things, you show others that they are equal to you and that you respect their time and feelings. These practices sound simple and may be gestures we take for granted, but their absence is felt bitterly when neglected by a person in power. Finally, be honest with your team. Praise and maximize their strengths, and guide them through overcoming obstacles and setbacks. A leader who doesn’t have the time to help his team grow is essentially stating that he lacks faith in them.
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