This is a guest post from Gemma Reeves. Gemma is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She is also an entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.

Every leader wants to be respected by their peers and teams, especially because respect helps to inspire loyalty cooperation. This makes for healthy leadership.

Some leaders however, like to strike fear into the hearts of their followers. That is most probably inspired by the Machiavellian principle which says that fear comes with the possibility of punishment. To avoid punishment, your team will most likely do anything just to abide by your rules.

Respect and fear could be compelling factors in a good leadership. However, most new leaders tend to forget about the importance of gaining the trust of their subordinates. People may respect and fear you, but that does not automatically mean that they trust you. Like respect and fear, trust should also be gained and worked hard for.

To help you earn respect the right way, here are 5 principles to follow.


1) Be firm, but approachable


As a new leader, you might not want to shake off that respectable and fearful demeanor, but being too stiff would also come off as intimidating. And when you’re intimidating, people would choose to avoid you and not make efforts to bond with you. What is a leader if you don’t even know your own people, right?

So as much as possible, try to loosen up a bit and make an effort to appear friendly and approachable. The goal is to strike a balance. When it pertains to strictly business matters, stay firm and decisive, but when it comes to personal matters and concerns for example, try to be more open and encourage your people to speak out their minds without any fear of reprehension. Trust is built through communication, so make the most out of it.


2) Fulfill your promises


Don’t make promises that you cannot keep. People will still judge you by your actions, and unmet expectations can easily let them down. So whenever you promise something, make sure that it is actually realistic and achievable. When people see that you are a man/woman of your word, they will trust you more.


3) Don’t be one-sided


As a leader, you might be called to settle any dispute that may arise within your organization. This would entail a lot of difficult decisions, but the important thing is to always hear both sides of the issue and avoid rendering a biased judgment. People should know that you are capable of weighing things based on the issue’s merits, and not just based on emotional and personal preferences.


4) Let people know that you trust them


Trust should be reciprocal. If you don’t trust your team, how can you expect them to start trusting you? To start building and gaining trust, let your people know that you yourself trust them too; You trust them to do well in their job, to fulfill their obligations, and excel at what they do.


5) Set a standard. Be the role model.


To gain everyone’s trust, you should be a good role model yourself. As a new leader, you are not above the rules. Of all people, you should set a high standard that are ultimately worth emulating. Being a credible and morally right leader earns people’s trust, because by then, they will believe that you are always capable of doing the right thing.

Gaining trust could take some time, so remember to stay patient, consistent and diligent. Focus on building great relationships and mentoring, then you will gain your team’s trust in no time.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick