C-Suite AgendaChief Executive Insights

The Neuroscience of Respect Discredits Toxic Leadership Culture in the US

There is a common misconception among corporate leaders that the most effective method to enact change is through tough leadership, ultimatums, and punishment for bad behavior.

A new nonprofit recently launched with a singular mission in mind:  to challenge this corporate culture and educate leaders on the benefits of respectful leadership. The Center for Respectful Leadership was founded by Gregg Ward, an established leadership expert and bestselling author.

Neuroscience of Respect

Despite our best efforts to run completely on logic, especially in the workplace, humans are still ruled by emotions.  Workplaces and boardrooms are full of emotional beings that are expected to keep their emotions in check while on the clock.

All humans still have a reactive, reptilian brain, and disrespect in the workplace can wreak havoc on employee productivity, and company culture. A Gallup study showed that positively engaged — or connected — companies perform better than their competitors.

Gregg Ward explains further, “It’s imperative for leaders to understand that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast,’ and if they tolerate or contribute to a toxic work environment, no matter how brilliant the product or idea, the chances of overall success are significantly reduced.”

How Emotional Intelligence Can Help Leaders

Rigid standards and norms about professionalism have built a corporate culture in America that completely ignores the ever-present emotions of the human beings it employs.

Gregg Ward has dedicated his career to educating leaders on leveraging and sharpening their emotional intelligence to better manage teams. The Center for Respectful Leadership is a group of experts dedicated to building a better business community through experiential learning programs.

By learning and applying emotional intelligence and basic empathy to the corporate culture, leaders will not only find they are more effective – but also that their team is more productive.

Ward warns, “As a nation, we’re at a crossroads right now: do we go ‘all in’ on disrespecting each other more and more and more, or do we find a way to step back from the cliff and potentially help our fellow Americans to step back too?”

Unique Training Opportunities

With live theatre training, HR and C-level executives learn how to navigate confrontational and uncomfortable social interactions in the workplace.

The results are therapeutic and help leadership to turn around struggling and toxic corporate cultures. The theater format provides a safe place to practice tough conversations and make mistakes without jeopardizing professional relationships.

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Sophie Ireland
SVP for News and Editorial Director. As CEOWORLD magazine's senior vice president for news and editorial director, Sophie Ireland oversees CEOWORLD magazine's journalism and journalists around the world and across platforms. She leads an award-winning team of journalists and newsroom executives who are committed to excellence, innovation and the highest quality reporting and storytelling. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn. Email her at sophie@ceoworld.biz.