REVIEW: Gregg Ward — Restoring Respect (BOOK)
Gregg Ward’s new book is a welcome relief to typical leadership advice nonfiction books. Maybe it’s cognitive bias, but when I think of standard leadership advice titles, books like The Art of the Deal or Think Big and Kick-Ass: In Business and In Life arise. But what Ward advocates and stands by in his new work, simply titled Restoring Respect, is appropriately postmodern and forward thinking. Just take it from the subtitle, appropriately christened as A “how to” guide for supporting the repair of broken relationships.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR/PROJECT: https://restoringrespectbook.com/
Ward advocates for what he calls Coaching for Respect, or CfR. In essence, it’s all about improving communication techniques between employee bases. And as far as I’m concerned, it frankly boils down at its core to just remembering one’s intrinsic humanity and dignity — not leaving said attributes at home just because of the (traditionally) fast pace of the rat race. Implementing CfR techniques has a similar, straightforwardness. “Normally, if the participants commit to meeting with you once a week, then after your initial informational meetings with the key stakeholders, the primary coaching/facilitation can be completed in as few as six weeks. This is the optimal time frame and pace.
You’ll also need some additional weeks for reporting in and following up,” Ward writes in aforementioned vein. “If you compress the process by holding more meetings per week, or completing more steps per meeting, then participants can feel rushed and may become confused or resistant. If you spread the time between meetings out to more than a week or two, the urgency and seriousness of the process may be lost, and it’s likely you’ll have to take extra time catching participants up on what they said and committed to in previous sessions. There’s a rhythm and flow to the process. Once a week with each of the participants usually seems to optimal for everyone and for a successful outcome.”
He also writes, “Whenever you’re coaching people who are in dispute or conflict, you’re going to want to conduct that coaching in person and face-to-face, at first individually, and then together. This allows you to build connection, respect and trust, read their body language and energy, and manage emotionalism more effectively. In person facilitation is vital at the time you bring the participants together toward the end of the CfR process. But, given that so many people are now working remotely, at a huge distance from one another, and/or in hybrid environments, and so many coaches are also working from home, conducting in person, face-to-face sessions may not be practical or even possible. Also, it may not be necessary to conduct in person meetings with the other stakeholders — such as HR, legal and/or leadership — when a simple phone call or videocall will do.”
By making the process seem so straightforward and naturalistic in terms of implementation, Ward actually helps the reader feel like they could get somewhere. A lot of self-help books remain somewhat vague in terms of the nuts and bolts thinking required for successful implementation strategies across a wide margin. But Ward spares that rod, providing a fully fleshed out roadmap. It’s a welcome relief to the standard leadership advice book, and another tip of the hat to Mr. Ward and the legitimacy of CfR.