Leadership and Loyalty: Trust & Respect

As a leader, being trusted and trusting others is a critical part of your everyday adventure, in and out of business. Trust lets us feel safe and valued, warm and respected. And being trusted builds loyalty.

In Naked Truth, one of my life mentors, Fabian Dattner says: “Trust honours us and the contribution we make. Trust in us causes us to trust in turn. It brings out our best characteristics. People who are trusted accept personal responsibility with dignity and commitment, and there is no better way to build business than to have responsible people, trusting one another enough to share information, to communicate effectively, and to do so with respect for the whole — and not only the part over which they hold dominion.”

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to use words with little attention to what they actually were intended to mean? We all do it and as a writer one of my challenges is to consider my words carefully and KNOW their meaning before I throw them into a sentence! 


Respect is one of those words that’s easy to say and slip into conversation, but a look at the word and its origins may inspire and convict us of how significant using this word is:

  • The word comes from the Latin word respicere, respectum. It means to look back at, to pay attention to or to consider.
  • We express respect when we admire someone and have a good opinion of them or honour someone who’s well thought of.
  • We pay attention to someone we respect and care about what they’re feeling as much as what they’re saying.
  • Respecting someone is more than being polite, it’s to hold them in esteem and honour because of their consistency over time of their actions and words, especially as we compare them with others.
  • We consider their contribution and appreciate them because of their wisdom, for example an elder.
  • We can respect another when we disagree with them, but still hold them in high regard.

Respect, however is not an automatic response. It’s something that comes when you make a personal, heart-based commitment to respect and take others

seriously someone who earns your respect. As you grow older you realise, sometimes with surprise, that you don’t have all the answers; that each person around you has potential gifts and strengths and interests that can bolster your own learning’s and understandings.

This takes humility and it takes extra effort to integrate someone who has differences into the work of your organisation when it’s easier to eliminate or side-line them.

In leadership building workshops I facilitate using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, there are three ultimate goals:

1. To help the participants have higher respect for themselves 

2. To have higher respect for their group as a whole organism

3. To have respect for the team dynamics in making decisions.

We create an overall chart of participants and plot all of them on a ‘group overview”. This allows everyone to see the potential strengths and flow of the participants as they work together, including the leader.

What we know conclusively is a group made up of individuals who are basically the same will seem dynamic and healthy because they get to decisions easily and

quickly. Yet their decisions and directions will not be as safe and wise as teams where diversity in the group tests the viability, strength and conviction of the decisions. Relying on each other requires respect.


Fear and communication are inexorably linked in every person we deal with. When effective and well timed communication is missing, there’s always fear.

Where you see fear in a group you know it’s from lack of communication (or of course abuse). Yet, communication is not what we say, write or do, it is in the response we get. Therefore, we must watch and listen!

As we listen, we learn and from learning about someone else’s thoughts, we can better appreciate how to take them seriously and benefit from their insights. This builds respect. Getting people to trust you as a leader in your organisation begins with you listening.

As you take time to listen to the observations of your group, you encourage them to feel confident to share more of what they see within the organisation. Many organisations, with wise leaders, who listen to their staff members, soar ahead with profits.

Trust springs from a serious pursuit by both leaders and followers of at least seven essential beliefs and initiatives.

CustomerServicesAudit Article kindly provided by Customer Services Audit


About The Author:  Darlene Richard is an international, subject-matter expert and philosopher on the issues affecting the quality and productivity of staff within non face-toface customer supporting environments.