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Saturday, 1 June 2013

Like vs Respect

There's an idea that came up at Tafe that I mulled over a bit the other day, and I thought I'd have a look at it here.

One of the other trainees mentioned that they have this saying at work; that it's better to be respected, than to be liked. It's much better to earn the kids' (as an aside, we need a better word for kids than kids, it sounds almost derogatory) respect than to try and be liked by them.

And, to that extent, I agree, certainly. I think that's a great thing to focus on.

However, I think some people seem to have a strange idea of "respect".

To me, respect is gained by what people are - people that are honest; have integrity; are passionate; courageous; joyful; characterful; and loving.

Respect is not gained by people being strict; commanding; controlling; angry; or forceful. There are people who have some of these characteristics who have my respect - but despite them, not because of them.

I'm not attempting to say that leaders attempting to be respected are all of the latter and none of the former. Far from it. But it is a bit of a different way of looking at it, to me.

Because there are leaders who will say, "This needs to happen." And literally stand there until it does. They will do things to tell the kids that they are the boss. But that doesn't get respect; certainly not from me, at any rate. That tells me that they're either stubborn, bigheaded, or trying to be.

That doesn't mean that there aren't instances where you need kids to listen, and to really focus on what you're saying and do what you're asking them to do. But there are ways to do that without raising a voice; without threatening anyone; without needing the bad cop.

Sure, it might seem like a slower, harder road at first. But any roads worth taking typically are.

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