How To Build Respect In Your Organization

In a recent keynote speech, Bill Hybels stated that the performance of a disrespected worker drops by 50% until the issue of disrespect is resolved. Scarier than this is that 25% of the disrespected workers pass this disrespect on to customers!

That is something to consider!

How many times in the last month have you been treated or seen someone treated poorly by the staff of a retail establishment? Now it really makes you wonder what goes on behind the scenes at these places. How many business leaders are disrespectful to their employees and are indirectly disrespecting their customers, the very lifeblood of their business!

There are way too many examples of disrespect in today’s world! From presidents of countries down to minimum wage employees at fast food establishments. Disrespect in our culture is way to common place! In fact, a business can begin to differentiate itself just by having respectful leaders and employees!

What can leaders do to repair, build, or maintain respect in their work place and start differentiating their business?

Hybels 10 Rules of Respect for Business Leaders

Bill Hybels went on in his keynote to list 10 rules of respect for business leaders. These are outlined briefly below:

  1. Set the example of how to respectfully differ with someone rather than demonize that person or point of view. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and we all need to be respectful of those differing opinions, values, points of view, cultures, etc. Be the example that you want your staff to emulate!
  2. Have animated conversations without drawing blood. It is fine to have a debate with someone but it is not okay to turn that debate caustic by attacking that person’s values, culture, opinion, etc. Keep the conversation positive and seek to understand rather than be understood.
  3. Don’t dominate conversations and don’t speak over others. Don’t speak when others are speaking. Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry!
  4. Limit volume levels and don’t use incendiary terms or words. There is no need to raise your voice or use unacceptable language.
  5. Be courteous. So many confrontations could be avoided if we were simply courteous to each other!
  6. Don’t stereotype. This is another hot button! It can be a dangerous path when a leader stereotypes an employee and adjusts their attitude and communication around this stereotype.
  7. Admit mistakes. A real leader admits their mistakes and moves on. Trying to cover up mistakes, pass the blame, or ignore the mistake is damaging to the organization.
  8. Form opinions carefully and stay open to change your position if new information Leaders need to have informed opinions. They also need to understand that things change very quickly in our fast paced world. These changes may impact their informed opinions which will require the opinion and/or decisions to change.
  9. Show up when you commit and do what you say. This is simple to say but hard to live up to!
  10. Set rules of respect for your organizations and enforce them. Do not tolerate disrespect in your organization. What the leader allows becomes the accepted organizational culture.

Take Action

In summary, don’t just tolerate your workers, seek to understand them. This is uncharted territory for most business leaders but it is also extremely productive and will benefit your business immensely over the long term!

Finally, take a look at these related posts for more information:


A leader with credibility has a pocketful of coins. As long as the pocket is full, the leader is believable, worthy of respect, and able to be trusted. Each time the leader breaks a promise or acts inconsistently with professed values, he or she must pay out some of the coins in their pocket. When the coins are gone, so is the leader’s credibility. No amount of persuasion or personal appeal will be able to buy it back. Once lost, respect and trust take years to regain.” John C Maxwell


What are your experiences with respect in the workplace? Leave your comments below!


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