When tensions run high in the workplace, the issue of respect often rises to the surface. People become angry when they feel ignored, dissed, or talked to in negative ways. They don’t feel respected, and the resulting resentment seeps into many conversations and activities, whether or not relevant.
Being respected is more important than being liked. The two are not mutually exclusive – you can respect someone, but don’t necessarily have to like him. On the other hand, you can like somebody, but may not have respect for her. Think about it – would you rather work with a person you respect, or one who you like?
Leaders need to be mindful of the respect factor, because when disrespect creeps into the office environment, it can become viral. When this happens, life at the office can border on toxic.