How to Win Respect and Influence Employees

Jim Luff
Posted on April 24, 2013

As president of Temecula Creek Learning Center in Temecula, Calif., Jim Jackson knows quite a bit about respect and influence. He is a renowned motivational speaker who led a session during the International LCT Show on handling employees through positive interactions. The key word is "influence," Jackson says.

“Influence is the ability to have an effect on the development of one’s character to achieve results,” Jackson says. By having positive communication with employees, we can impart thoughts that motivate an employee to strive and improve. An example of this is to regularly praise a salesperson for doing a fantastic job. By repeating this to salespeople, they will begin to believe they are awesome and will seek more praise by striving to achieve sales goals and prove they are indeed awesome.  

Jackson shared a story of being hired by a client to determine why the morale was so low in his company. After spending 15 minutes in the building, he told the client that HE was the problem. After observing the owner in action, he told his client that he was a jerk who belittled people, used sarcasm, and diminished the egos of his people.

Meanwhile, managers employed by the client had to follow along and scrape the wounded soldiers off the floor and attempt to rebuild their egos until the next time the boss got ugly. “Don’t be this owner,” Jackson advises. Jackson also pointed out that silence is a bad way to communicate. Rather than sulk about an issue and ignore someone, man-up and discuss it with that person, since matters won’t improve without communication.

Jackson stressed that sarcasm has no place in business. It puts people down when you should be focused on building them up and inspiring them to achieve what they think they cannot achieve. You may believe that your employees love you. Do they? Or, do they love a paycheck? Do you love your employees? If so, tell them you do, advises Jackson. It doesn’t have to be in the literal sense of saying, “I love you,” but can be done by earning their respect through showing them respect.

Having respect for your employees means communicating with them and listening to their thoughts, opinions and suggestions with good body language.  Jackson pointed out that as a leader, you must be aware of your body language when listening. Crossing your arms signals a negative pose in a conversation. This subtle gesture can prevent an employee from ever speaking up again and being a valuable team player. Don’t diminish or dismiss an idea simply because you have 20 years of experience in the business.  

“Being a prisoner for 50 years doesn’t make you the best prisoner,” Jackson says. Fresh ideas and thoughts are important to your business. Jackson admonishes that you should never use your degree from “MTU.” That’s not a real college. It stands for “Making Things Up.” Don’t ever be afraid to ask someone for help. It is not a sign of weakness but a sign of a good leader.

Jackson shared some great insights on how our thought process determines much of our success or failure. In the best example, Jackson cited thoughts on marriage and statistical results of marriage beliefs. If a newlywed couple goes into their marriage believing that 50% of all marriages fail, there is a 50% chance the marriage will fail. However, for those who believe marriage is an everlasting engagement, chances are the marriage will last forever as a result of this positive belief.  

Having respect for your employees means communicating with them and listening to their thoughts, opinions and suggestions with good body language, Jim Jackson says.

Related Topics: business management, employee management, How To, ILCT 2013

Jim Luff General Manager
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