How to Earn Respect from Your Subordinates?

4 minutes

To have a bunch of people working under our supervision and to be in the top level leadership position is a dream come true for most of us. After all isn’t that what is called as climbing the corporate ladder?


However, with this success also comes a responsibility of getting things done from your subordinates. Simple enough? In the real world, this is not as simple as it might sound. I know many out there think that with some power they can very conveniently boss over their subordinates and get them to do the work. But trust me; it does not work in that way: to get things done from your subordinates surely requires a skill.

Citing some experience here, it is always easier to get your subordinates to listen to you when they respect you and adore you. Now, one should understand that there is a huge difference between the words ‘respect’ and ‘fear’. One might choose to instill fear in their subordinates, by threatening them. And trust me, it can only make things worse. However, if a senior is able to communicate well with their subordinates and ensure that they create and maintain a good image in front of their subordinates, then it certainly is not hard to get them to respect you and to follow you.

Just for explaining it better, I would like to compare this with a situation we all are well aware of. Now think of a situation, where you have a very strict parent at home. Would you easily agree to every word they say, or will you revolt and try to reason with them? I am sure many of us, at least in today’s world, will revolt. However, if the situation is changed and we are to talk about parents who deal with their kids as friends, then it becomes way easier for the parents to get their point across to the children. It’s a proven fact!

This situation is no different in the case of a corporate set up! For a manager or supervisor who is friendlier with his or her subordinates, it is much easier for them to earn the respect from them. Now the question is, how can one get friendly with their subordinates and to what extent is it advisable?

To start off answering the first question – it is not very hard to get friendly with your subordinates. I remember my seniors in office, who from the very first conversation I had with them, had made me feel very comfortable and relaxed. Also, regular conversations, sharing of ideas and even discussing some personal life with each other only helps in boosting the morale of the subordinate. Another important tip is to make sure that your subordinates feel that you are the one point of contact for any of their problems. This does not come by imposing things on them, rather develops when you create that bond and build a confidence in them for you.


Now moving on to the next question, about the extent to which it is advisable to get friendly with your subordinates. It should be understood that though, being friendly and relaxed with them is a good thing, however too much of a relaxation is not. You should never put yourself in a situation when, they start taking you for granted. Once they start taking you for granted, the respect will be automatically lost. Also, never get into a situation, when it might become hard for you to say a ‘no’ to them when required.

Thus, to earn respect from your subordinates, always remember to have a right balance of liberty and stern behaviour with them!

Manish B Shetty

"Manish is a writer and film & theatre enthusiast from Bangalore, India. He has produced theatre plays and has experience in the field of event management. He is also passionate about reading and revolution."