CHAPTER 5

Are You Sure You Show Respect?

by Christine Porath

For the last 20 years, I’ve studied the costs of incivility, as well as the benefits of civility. Across the board, I’ve found that civility pays. It enhances your influence and performance—and is positively associated with being perceived as a leader.1

Being respectful doesn’t just benefit you, though; it benefits everyone around you. In a study of nearly 20,000 employees around the world (conducted with HBR), I found that when it comes to garnering commitment and engagement from employees, there’s one thing that leaders need to demonstrate: respect. No other leadership behavior had a bigger effect on employees across the outcomes we measured. Being treated with respect was more important ...

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