Building Respect in Your New Management Position

April 27, 2020

Building Respect in Your New Management Position

If life were fair, or even just convenient, people should automatically respect you simply because of your new elevated position. But if you’re waiting for that to kick in, I’d hunker down for a long one. In your previous jobs, you know that you had to earn your boss’ trust and respect. Same in a management position. But now you’ve got three groups to worry about. Below is a non-exhaustive list of how to earn respect from each group.


Your boss. Much of what you learned as a stellar employee will apply here.


How to get respect

What that actually means

What it does not mean

Deliver on promises

·     Meet deadlines

·     Inform will miss deadline as soon as you know

·     Meet quality standards

·     Overpromise

·     Pull fast ones to appear  to meet the deadline

Have your boss’ back

·     Inform boss if/when the s. is going to hit the fan

·     Position him to look good

·     Defend his interests when he’s absent

·     Bad-mouth him behind his back

·     Disagree with him in public


Manage your own area well

·     Deal with people problems effectively

·     Motivate your staff

·     Generate and implement new ideas well

·     Ask him to make your decisions

·     Tell him constantly how well you are managing




Your peers. As an employee, you primarily had to pay attention to what your boss wanted. Now, you need the respect of your peer managers as well. If you don’t, they will ignore you, be unhelpful in meeting your goals, or even actively work against you.


How to get respect

What that actually means

What it does not mean

Respect boundaries

·     Stick to your mandate; don’t wander into another’s territory

·      Work out grey areas between units amicably

·     Grab whatever power isn’t being defended

·     Take credit for others’ achievement

Share resources when appropriate

·     Loan out your prize employee

·      Fund peripheral activities which are important to a peer

·     Get ugly if budgets need to be cut

·     Talk team work but never quite share

Recognize impact of your group on others

·     Consult peers before a big change

·     Give heads-up if your group’s actions affects another

·     End run a peer to get the boss’ approval if you know the peer disagrees

·     Improve your stats by off-loading work onto other areas


Your employees.  As the boss, you need to have a slightly different relationship with your employees than you did when you were colleagues.


How to get respect

What that actually means

What it does not mean

Keep promises

·     Deliver what you said you would

·     Explain if you can’t

·     Pretend you didn’t promise

·     Maintain you’ve fulfilled the promise when you haven’t

Respect others

·     Speak/act respectfully

·     Keep your temper

·     Be on time for meetings

·     Throw a TGIF when things are tense

·     Apologize for mistake and then do it again


·     Transparency in decision-making

·     Allocate plum assignments thru a well understood process

·     Have an in-crowd

·     Don’t allow input to decisions


Tell me again why I need their respect?

I know, it’s a lot slogging. And I wouldn’t blame you if you asked, Wouldn’t it work just as well if they liked me? Being liked is an important component of managing well. It is a necessary but not sufficient condition for truly good management. If you are liked but not respected, employees will eventually stop paying attention to your boss statements and you will soon be trying to meet the unit’s goals on your own.

This stream of the blog will, in due course, delve more into the ins and outs of this issue and many others.

Next time: a series of posts for employees.


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