Be respected before being liked

11 minute read

The title of this article may seem a strange topic for discussion. After all, doesn’t everyone want to be liked and respected?

For managers—especially compliance managers—being respected must be the first priority ahead of being liked. Let’s face it, compliance—like quality or human resource managers—starts behind the eight ball on the “likability charts” because their roles are associated with rules and regulations, training, “doing the right thing,” and all that fun stuff.

I was talking to a former employee and protégé a while ago, and she reminded me that this was one of the first life lessons I shared with her. While we all want to be liked and respected, it is my belief that compliance folks should particularly focus on being respected before being liked.

Respect for leadership is important when you want people to follow you. However, many leaders struggle because they also want employees to like them. There is nothing wrong with wanting people to like you. However, which is foremost?

Which is the bigger priority, and what if you have one without the other?

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