« Most leaders know that showing respect to their people is important for employee engagement and for business success.

When we ask most North American managers how they show respect to their people, we often hear that managers show respect by treating employees fairly, giving them clear goals, trusting them to achieve these goals in the best way possible and hold them accountable for the results.

When we ask leaders at Toyota how they show respect for their people, we hear a very different answer. The Toyota managers show respect to their people by asking their people what are the biggest problems with the way work is currently being done. Next the managers enters into a dialogue about what the real problem is. Then the managers asks what is causing the problem and enters into another dialogue about its root causes. Then the managers asks what should be done to fix the problem and asks the employee why is he recommendation this solution over others. Then the managers ask how the employee will know if the solution has really been effective to fix the problem and engages into a dialogue about the best measure. Then the employees implements the solution.

This is how Toyota managers show respect for their people, by coaching their them to do effective problem solving. »

— James Womack