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Respect and Affection

Respect and Affection

Too many consultants want to be liked. They are desperate for affiliation or even deeper regard. However, what we need from buyers is respect. You can respect someone without necessarily liking them. (Speakers who use the stage for their own validation and to gain applause aren’t helping the audience, but merely trying to gain affection.)

Here are the combinations with my personal examples:

Like and respect: James Carville (I love his demeanor and attitude, and greatly respect his political acumen.)

Don’t like but respect: Michael Bloomberg (He’s done a great job with New York as mayor, is incorruptible, and has spent his own money on the city. But he has the hubris of the ultra-rich, changed the charter so he could run for a third term, and thinks he can dictate dietary advice through legislation.)

Don’t respect but like: Jon Stewart (He’s funny and clever, and makes me laugh. But his pseudo-news show picks on easy targets who can’t defend themselves, and he sometimes tries to give serious news commentary. You can’t have it both ways.)

Neither like nor respect: Donald Trump (He used his daddy’s money to fund himself, and used other people’s money in high risk ventures, often declaring bankruptcy to save himself. I find him arrogant, pompous,a huge blowhard, and demeaning toward women.)


Like: Feel an affinity toward and would enjoy spending time with. Provides good feelings, sense of well being.

Respect: Admiration for accomplishments, views, and values. Impressive track record of success and high levels of trust.

Here’s my process visual diagnostic:


Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 5.25.00 PM


The ideal position is to be at or near maximum respect and enough affection to be liked but not to crave more.

If you want to be wealthy, get respect. If you want to be loved, get a dog.

© Alan Weiss 2014



Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 1

  • Jeffrey Summers

    January 13, 2014

    The same goes for clients who want you to tell them how smart they are or how great they are. Great post.

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