I have been around the proverbial block of leadership in my life from both positions of leader and follower. Just recently I was having this discussion with one of my partners about behavior modification in funeral homes. Behavior modification is quite simply changing poor habits and continuous ineffective or unproductive behaviors. Funeral director training is a behavior modification tool that alleviates continuous ruts.
However, funeral director training is one thing, actually conducting and coaching is quite another. In our discussion, the topic of like versus respect was broached. A challenge for many funeral home owners is the difficulty of operating in a close environment. Conversely, how do other organizations seem to efficiently function in similar “close quarters?” We discussed an example of a particular funeral home owner that struggles to “take command of his troops” even for the overall good of their firm. The firm as mired in a continuous struggle for profitability and lacks consistent revenue performance from the revenue makers…funeral directors. The owner just doesn’t want to “rock the boat” which means he fears making necessary decisions, training and performance demands because he may “upset someone” thus not being perceived as “their friend.” We have both heard many times )I just can’t do that; these people are my friends.”
Another example we discussed is being a parent. Making decisions as a parent is often adverse to how friends would interact. However, the inability to make often life decisions for the sake of “being a friend” may have severe consequences for the child over time.
So for the sake of discussion, which would you rather be as a leader, liked or respected? I believe there are circumstances for both; certainly my answer would be that I would like to be liked and respected. Let’s narrow this down to the work environment in a funeral home. Would you rather work in an environment and culture of like or respect? What’s your choice? Cheers Y’all.