Tag Archives: dignity and respect

Loving: Making Others Feel Important

News anchor Jose Diaz Balart concludes his program on MSNBC-TV every day with a dose of gratitude that leaves his audience feeling valued and validated, saying:

Thank you for the
PRIVILEGE of your time.

Jose Diaz Balart, MSNBC-TV

The dictionary says the word Privilege stems from the Latin privilegium which means the law as it applies to one person.”

So in effect Mr. Diaz Balart thinks of his audience as comprised for individuals who personally afford him their personal attention to tune in to his news program.

In the process, Mr. Diaz execises a key leadership skill : personally connecting to each person in his audience. In fact Army 4-star General Norm Schwarzkopf noted the discerning behavior of leaders who can see each tree in the forest. General Schwarzkopf said:

“I have seen competent leaders who stood in front of a platoon and all they saw was a platoon. But great leaders stand in front of a platoon and see it as 44 individuals, EACH of whom has aspirations, EACH of whom wants to live, EACH of whom wants to do good.”

And each of whom needs to be treated PERSONALLY with dignity and respect. That’s why the most influential leaders, in treating others individually, are more apt to reward their employees SPECIFICALLY not simply award them generally. They realize the difference between actively rewarding individuals for their effort (thank you for the privilege of your time and effort) and passively awarding (thanks for watching this news program as Mr. Diaz could have said.)

Awards are presented.
Rewards are earned.

Awards honor past performance.
Rewards incent future performance.

Awards are event focused.
Rewards are individually focused.

Award shows always reflect as much on the awarder as on the awardee. (Think Oscars). But in rewarding another for specific effort and productive achievement, the spotlight is only on the person being rewarded. Personally. With an implied sense of appreciation and a heart-felt thank you for the privilege of their time working on this specific project.

The leadership lesson is clear. Focus on your employees as individuals. Reward them with your dignity and respect. And cherish the PRIVILEGE of having each of them on your team. For more ideas on rewarding vs. awarding your employees, pick up a copy of LOVING Like a Leader, a Leadership Mints Series book

Develops your emotional intelligence to better listen and relate to others with compassion, connection and conviction.

Get Your Copy of LOVING Like a Leader


Consumed like a breath mint — quick and on-the-go — a Leadership Mint is a bite-sized idea that energizes leadership behaviors and personalizes leadership principles so they are more easily remembered, more readily acted upon and more fully applied.

Leadership Mints Series Sampler On Treating Others With Respect

Aloha! What if you began and ended your one-on-one meetings with that evocative greeting — a greeting that also serves as a productive farewell — even if you don’t live or work in Hawaii?

Aloha from Hawaii

Then you’d be saying much more than “hi and bye.” With your “Aloha” you’d be invoking “the breath of life” both at the beginning and and the ending of your meeting. Who doesn’t need a breath of fresh air to freshen the workday at the start and at the end? Aloha stems from “Alo,” meaning presence and “ha,” meaning breath. The website  To-Hawaii.com, published by Eleakai Publishing, LLC, also notes:

  • Aloha is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence.
  • Aloha means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.
  • Aloha means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return.

How can you best spread the Aloha sentiment of mutual regard and affection without actually saying the word ALOHA and yet conjure up images of flowing palm trees and colorful leis?

Simply ask your staff member to set the meeting agenda. Fight off the urge to dump your in-basket into the lap of your direct report with the following provocative Aloha greeting question of another kind:

“What is on your mind today?”

In his book The Coaching Habit, Michael Bungay Stanier says that key question reaffirms a trusting relationship and establishes a working environment of dignity and respect for both the staffer and the leader.

This agenda-setting question also quickly targets a pressing need and a more strategic problem solving discussion that leads to a more productive outcome.

But then the most effective leader confirms the decision-making process with the staffer BEFORE the meeting ends with the following Aloha farewell question of another kind?

“What was the most useful to you in our meeting?”

Those two bookend questions take your one-on-on meetings to the next level, and a establish a more strategic followup meeting well beyond the hi and bye opener and closer of most meetings.

The leadership lesson is clear: Breathe life into your meetings. Turn your how-are-ya’s into Alohas!

Leadership Mints Series Sampler: On Credibility From Civility

Whoa there Motor Mouth!

Civility opens the door to credibility where it’s not how loud you shout that gives you clout but what your audience thoughtfully hears, critically believes and clearly concedes that ultimately leads. Collaboratively.

With civility, you ratify your right and their right  to be heard without vilifying each other for what they heard.

With civility, you defend your point of view without dismissing another’s point of view.

With civility, the most credible speakers are quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger as James writes in the Bible (1:19).

And with civility, leaders anticipate the questions and concerns of the audience to fertilize even more common ground.

That’s why the first step in parlaying your power in speaking like a leader is to strengthen and sharpen your sense of empathy: your ability to participate with others in their ideas and feelings. Then you will argue less and listen more.

Then you will seek a mutually satisfying solutions that balances the needs and concerns of both parties.

That’s why the most effective speaker/leaders seek a compromise based on integrity and anchored around an inherent promise to treat their listeners/followers with dignity and respect.

That PROMISE  to others is instructive in the way the most effective leaders earn credibility through civility.

After all, the word PROMISE is clearly prominent in the word compromise.

When you make and keep your promises, your credibility soars Continue reading

How Many Souls On Board?

What if you thought of your company or organization  as if it were a 747 jet  flying at 35,000 feet.  All of your employees are on board. Of course, you are in the pilot’s seat.

               You sense your awesome responsibility not only for the safety and security of your employees but also for your company’s fiduciary commitments to customers, stockholders etc.  through your employees. You realize the significance of your “corporate jet” that management and staff are in this together, that we need each other.

We have to work with each other — and for each other — to achieve our common destiny: a safe landing.  And as the pilot of your “corporate jet” you adopt the communications protocol of Air Traffic Controllers who pose this question during an emergency: How many souls on board? The word “souls” more clearly communicates the inclusive list of humans at risk (passengers, pilots and crew).

We Need Each Other

                  That realization that we are all in this together no matter where you are sitting in this organization — in First Class or Coach, in the Pilot’s seat or in Aft seat — stems from a feeling of caring and sharing with others, a feeling of interdependence on each other, a sense of love of and for each other that feeds the organization in general and the leaders in particular to better adapt to changing conditions in real time.

And in serving their collective souls, loving leaders tap into an ever-widening and enriching treasure chest of humanity with all of its attendant inspiration, imagination and innovation that leads to greater productivity and ultimately greater profitability.

(This is an excerpt of a newly relaunched book titled
LOVING Like a Leader now available on Amazon.com

Your employees ARE NOT your employees

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you appreciate your staff more fully. Reading time:3:54.

   With apologies to Kahlil Gibran:

silhouette-man-standing         Your employees are
not your employees.

       They come to work
for you but

      They are not necessarily
of you.

       And though they are
with you,

      They belong
not to you.

      You may give them
your valuables.

        But not your values.
    You may house their bodies
But not their souls.


      Maybe that’s why the most effective leaders develop compacts more than contracts with their employees — compacts that empower more than employ; compacts that inspire confidence in employers to proclaim as Henry Ford once did:

“You can take my factories,
burn up my buildings but give me
my PEOPLE and I’ll build the business right back.”

       Notice that Henry Ford did not say “my employees.”

       Indeed, his PEOPLE were much more than hired hands.  His PEOPLE were the heart beat of the company.  His PEOPLE were the spirit, energy and drive behind his company. Continue reading