Will I be respected as a leader?
At first glance you may think that within most organisations, power and status go hand in hand. But according to research by Professor Alison Fragale from the University of North Carolina, nothing could be further from the truth.
Fragale says: “If your power and respect are out of balance people react negatively to you, and they’ll find ways of shutting you down”
Though power (having the ability to control resources) and status (being held in high regard by others) often go together, they are not perfectly correlated.
Every organisation has people in power who are not well regarded. These high power, low status people struggle to lead and build a well functioning team.
The data also indicates that people are less likely to take the advice of high power, low-status people, even when the advice is good.
Most organisations encourage their managers to develop better negotiating skills and increase their power of influence. But acquiring power without the legitimate status can backfire. “You have to think about acquiring and wielding power in line with how other people see you.”
In two experiments, Fragale examined how an individual’s level of power and status determined how they where perceived by others. The research showed that high status individuals regardless of their level of power are perceived positively as strong and warm where as high power low status individuals are judged most negatively as dominant and cold. As a result people expect positive interactions with high status individuals, but negative interactions with high power, low status individuals.
The Top 3 ways to become a respected leader.
1. All leaders require respect and trust however these qualities don’t exist in the role or title. They emerge from the team’s acceptance of how you lead.
2. Use your influence as a leader to protect your team from unrealistic schedules, demanding clients and the slight of hand critics. You will win your team’s respect when they know you have their backs.
3. Give people opportunities to grow and excel. When you occasionally step aside and allow someone else to shine you will reap the respect of not just your team but the whole organisation.
These findings have implications for managers who strive to have their departments run smoothly. Often power is given to long-term employees with a high level of technical skill accompanied by experience, however they may not have the status to manage a team of people. By giving power to those who have respect and influence (status) many of the negative interpersonal challenges within a department may disappear. The lesson for managers is to take into account an individuals status before giving him or her additional power.
The great news is I can show you how to implement these 3 tips so you can make drastic and lasting change that enables you to focus on your goals with a new resolve.
There are 3 ways that I can help you.