If you've been in the workforce as long as I have, then you've probably run across this personality type—the dictator. This is the person who makes demands and barks orders but never seems to have time to roll up his or her own sleeves. Sound familiar?

Most people typically don't like being on the receiving end of demands but we often have to take it, especially if this person is the boss. While there are some situations in which a leader must give orders based on their position, in today's workplace this approach is often not very effective. People resent being told what to do. Business author Walt Grassl says you should, instead, treat employees as volunteers, as we explain in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Here are some ways to lead your "volunteers":

1. Share The Big Picture: Give your team a sense of purpose. Whether they are performing a manufacturing task or a clerical task, it doesn't matter. If they don't perform their small task well, the product or the company will suffer. Put the importance of their seemingly unimportant task in perspective.

2. Communicate: Give clear direction. Create alignment. Encourage respectful pushback. Be accessible. Not only have an open-door policy, but also walk around. If you show up at someone's work area and engage them; they may ask you a question. Create those opportunities.

3. Develop: One way to make people enjoy working for you is to encourage them to grow. Remind them of the importance of training themselves. Give them suggestions on things to learn. You can help their development by giving them new "stretch" assignments and responsibilities. Then, be patient and nurturing as they ascend the learning curve. Coach them through any reluctance to leave their comfort zone. They will feel better about themselves and be more valuable team members.

4. Play To Their Strengths: Know your people and what they do well. While you want them to grow, it is your responsibility to know their weaknesses that may be too hard to develop. You have to realize that people are what they are. Honor them by capitalizing on their strengths and not fighting them over their weaknesses.

5. Show Respect: People want to be respected. Don't be one of those people who doesn't make eye contact and doesn't acknowledge people when you walk into a room or when you are walking down the halls. And don't only approach them like your long-lost best friend just when you need a favor. Smile and acknowledge the people you pass in the hall—whether you know them or not. Develop relationships before you need favors.

6. Acknowledge Experience: People who have been doing a task for years or who have been with the organization for years have experience. Realize that and when you approach them on an issue, take time to honor that experience and listen to them. Nothing irritates a seasoned performer more than when a new leader comes in and wants to share their book learning and tell them what to do. Listen with the intent to understand first, and then discuss the best way to solve the problem.

7. Give Thanks: Be grateful for the big things and the little things. Always remember to say "please" when asking someone to do something and "thank-you" when someone does something for you. So often, this doesn't happen and the leaders are unaware of the effect. Also, seek out opportunities to catch people doing something right. People want to be appreciated. Go out of your way to show them.

Ready for more ways to be an effective leader? Read PCT again tomorrow.

Source: Walt Grassl is a speaker, author and performer. He hosts the radio show, Stand Up and Speak Up, on the RockStar Worldwide network. Grassl has performed standup comedy at the Hollywood Improv and the Flamingo in Las Vegas and is studying improv at the Groundlings School in Hollywood.