As a leader, it is vital that you devote a significant portion of your efforts in earning the most valuable commodities of leadership from your front line, Hispanic team members – ‘trust and respect’. For first generation Hispanics, these qualities are perceived in a more traditional manner.
In the corporate world of management where there is a certain amount of competition and turf protection, trust and respect may take on different meanings. Team members may feel compelled to trust and respect the power that the position or title commands and not necessarily the person behind the title. Respect can be expressed through admiration or fear of their team leader’s interaction and communication skills.
In the world of front line Hispanics in the workplace, the leadership qualities of trust and respect may conjure up a different image than the American mindset. They envision these traits in a more ideal and gallant level. It’s interesting to note that the word for trust in Spanish is “confianza”. It also means “confidence”. Not just the confidence that we associate with self-assurance or assertiveness but; from the positive environment that the team leader creates in both the workplace and in the individual.
First generation Hispanics in the workplace want a leader that validates their contributions. In exchange for their hard work, they want a leader that has the strength of character that will shield and protect them when things go wrong, as they inevitably will. Most of all, Hispanics in the workplace want a leader who is a kind and caring person.
There was time when loyalty was the most important assurance that an employee could give to his/her organization. In exchange for unquestionable loyalty, the company would provide long term, job security. Today, in corporate America, the concept of loyalty as well as virtues we once considered valuable, are now considered to be old fashioned and not in sync with the values, needs and demands of our modern, high tech age.
This however, is not the case with Hispanics in the workplace. In fact, Hispanic employees will go out of their way to show that they still cling to these time-honored virtues. When they seek employment, they are in it for the long haul. The traditional values of loyalty, trust, respect and honor are deeply ingrained into their culture.
Hispanics in the workplace have a clear vision of what they want and expect in a leader. They look to you for these qualities. By showing your own personal brand of compassionate leadership on a consistent basis, you will do much to earn their unwavering trust and respect.