Leadership Treatment of Others

September 20, 2022

I’ve recently been reading a number of posts on LinkedIn and other social media sites about how great leadership is based on you treating people how you would like to be treated yourself. Whilst there is no doubt this can be a good way of dealing with stuff there are problems with this approach which I think need to be borne in mind.

If you treat people the way you would like to be treated then you will tend to attract staff who are the same as you, because they have the wish to be treated in the same way as you do. This can have an effect on the range of skills available in your team and can often lead to a team which is not as agile as it could be during a changing commercial environment.

But as an alternative to the command culture that you often see in organisations there is no doubt that treating people the way you would like to be treated is a massive improvement. However, I would venture to suggest a slight change in that approach. Perhaps you should try to treat people in the way that they would like to be treated. This approach leads to a far greater diversity amongst your staff as it allows for people with different priorities, different personalities and also wider range of neurodiversity (to use the current buzzword). The effect of this is to have a wide range of characteristics within your workforce which will allow them to work better on areas that perhaps as a leader you are less capable of.

I for one have certain strengths, but, more than that, I have certain weaknesses. When I employ people, I want them to compensate for my weaknesses as well as compliment my strengths. This means that they sometimes will not have the same personality as me, which is their good fortune!

Obviously there are people who want to be treated in a way that is not useful, acceptable within your organisation or even healthy. But then that’s an issue that may need addressing!