Honoring Face & Honoring the Values and Principles of Your Organization

On Wednesday, June 10, we had the pleasure of speaking with Maya Hu-Chan – executive coach, leadership development educator, and author of the recently published book, “Saving Face – How to Preserve Dignity and Build Trust.” The focus of our conversation fell upon Saving Face, and how this act can create an environment of psychological safety and in effect cultivate a high-performance culture.

This blog post is Part 3 of our Saving Face Webinar Recap Series. To watch Part 3 of the conversation, check out the video below!

Honoring face

Similar to saving face, Maya explained, “honoring face are actions we take to show respect, admiration, and grant dignity to others.” In honoring face, you send a message to those you are communicating with that says, “I see you, I hear you, you matter.” Honoring face is the truest form of recognition that we can offer others.

How does honoring face demonstrate the organization’s values and principles?

Support and respect are two of the most common organizational values that Maya has come across when working as an executive coach with leaders across the globe. These cross-cultural values are given meaning by the leaders who live the values that they write down on paper. 

“When it comes to respect, it’s not just lip service,” Maya stated, but it really comes down to the daily interactions that demonstrate an employee’s value. In truly listening to our employees, giving them recognition, and helping them build confidence to continue to grow and shine – these are actions that leaders demonstrate to honour face.

Honoring face promotes psychological safety, as it creates an environment that preserves the dignity of everyone involved. 

The platinum rule

Furthering organizational values and principles, honoring face demonstrates empathy. We’ve all heard of the golden rule: “treat others as you would like to be treated.” But Maya introduced to us a slight refinement. In changing one simple word, she explained the platinum rule: “treat others as they would like to be treated.” 

What’s important for the other person? We want to treat them in a way that they will appreciate. In recognizing the position, needs, and perspectives of others, and proceeding to act based on these considerations, is the act of honoring face. This is how leaders can truly demonstrate respect, through empathy and consideration. All that needs to be done is a shift in focus from ourselves to those around us.

If you would like to assess the whether you have a high-performance culture, where teams achieve more goals while having a positive, fulfilling human experience of work please take our free leader survey and we’d be happy to debrief it with you

Want to watch the rest of the conversation? Click here to request the full webinar recording.

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