Why Wanting to Be Liked Will Hurt Your Business: How to Gain Respect in the Workplace

Wanting to be liked can cause problems. If you’re more interested in being liked than in gaining respect in the workplace, it’ll interfere with your ability to make hard decisions and have tough conversations.

As an example, let’s think about a situation in which there’s an employee who’s not executing well in their role. Maybe they’re just not following through as they should be. If you’re worried about being liked, then you may be worried about how that staff member will feel if you have to have a tough conversation with them about their performance.

However, this wanting to be liked is problematic because it can cause you to procrastinate on having that talk. Moreover, by thinking this way, you’re really focusing on your own feelings and how you’re going to be uncomfortable confronting this person. It won’t translate into respect in the workplace. By projecting your own discomfort onto the staff member, you’re assuming that they’ll feel the same way when really they may welcome some constructive feedback about their performance.

On the other hand, if you’re focused on respect, you’re not going to delay having that conversation. You’ll be clear about your expectations and how they’re not being met. From there, you can design a plan that will help the staff member get back on track.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be liked, but when it outweighs your ability to gain respect in the workplace then it will make your job difficult. Be clear and follow through on what you say you’re going to do. When you aim to be respected, you’ll ultimately make your business a more productive place.

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