Mutual Respect Boosts Team Performance

The well-being of the team is important to America's Pig Farmer Patrick Bane. Having a good relationship with each employee is critical to the farm’s ability to run smoothly.
( National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff )

Employees conserve their energy for those who appreciate the work they are doing.

“Loyalty and trust come from mutual respect and are the foundations on which all winning team relationships are built,” said Robyn Benincasa in an article on the Association for Talent Development’s website. “Teams that have loyalty and trust will go above and beyond for each other and achieve extreme performance.”

Benincasa shared five tips to help employers build mutual respect in the workplace.

1.    Remember the Aluminum Can Theory

Alan Brunacini, hailed as one of the most inspiring fire chiefs in history, said, “When you have a disagreement with someone on your crew and you’re compelled to go right to the one terrible comment that you know will take them to their knees, remember that comment is an aluminum can—it’s going to stay in the environment forever.”

Successful teams don’t let those aluminum cans come between teammates. Avoid gossip, criticism and backstabbing. Remember that positive aluminum cans stick around, too. How can you build up your teammates about their performance and contribution to your team? 

2.    Mentor Unselfishly

The more you share knowledge and build up others, the more you will get in return. Find ways to consistently bring one another up to speed on best practices, the latest techniques and new discoveries. Everyone gets better together. Watch out for those people on the team who find their power by knowing things that others don’t know.

3.    Act Like a Team Always and the Feelings Will Follow

It’s easy to be a “team” when things are going well. However, we all know this doesn’t always happen this way in the real world. The best teams find ways to be a great leader or great teammate, regardless of circumstances. Treat your teammates with respect even when things aren’t going well to keep performing as a high-functioning team. Acting like a team is more important than feeling like a team, Benincasa said. 

4.    Believe in Teammates Beyond Reason

When someone believes in you, it makes you want to rise to the occasion and prove them right. This may be a simple truth, but it has great power 
And if someone doesn’t believe in us? We tend to fall to whatever level they see us at. Belief in someone is a powerful force and a gift that great teammates give to one another every day.

5.    Give Respect as a Gift—Not as a Grade

Respect your teammates for their intelligence and abilities from the start. When respect is given as a gift and not withheld as a grade, Benincasa said teammates feel valued, worthy, engaged, free to learn and have increased ownership of outcomes. Respect is the glue that bonds teammates together in times of great challenge and change.

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