What determines whether leaders are perceived as demeaning or demanding?
The distinct difference is the way leaders treat their people.
A true leader is demanding of his or her people. Trying to get the best out of them. Pushing them toward excellence. But here’s the key: Great leaders do so while also treating workers with respect and dignity.
A demeaning leader on the other hand uses abrasiveness to confront, put down, embarrass, and strip others of their dignity as well as the respect of others.
A leader can be demanding without being demeaning. And great leaders are.
It’s a leadership lesson we all need to learn. In a culture of microaggressions and easily hurt feelings, leaders are called to navigate the challenging times of demanding good results without demeaning a person. It can be arduous at times. But it can be done.
Ephesians 4:15 says it this way: Speak the truth but do so in love.
Leaders must speak truth - even hard truth - to people. But how that truth is communicated is what matters most.
And it can be done. By being demanding without being demeaning.
An important leadership lesson for us all.