Gain the Respect You Deserve in the Workplace

Respect. Short word, but a powerful one—enough so that Aretha Franklin focused an entire song to it. Everyone in the workplace wants to be respected, but it doesn’t always come easy. It takes time and trust to earn the respect of your peers and managers.

Even if you arrive at a new office with the reputation as one of the best sales managers in your field, that doesn’t equate to respect on day one. Most people hold back judgment, as actions speak louder than words.

I recently spoke with Business Insider about ways in which you can quickly develop a positive reputation at work and become respected. Here are some of the tips I shared:

  • Make it a two-way street. Treat everyone with equal respect, whether they’re above or below you in the corporate hierarchy. This means you’re just as kind to the custodian as you are to the company president. It’s hard to be respected if you’re not showing the same respect to everyone you encounter.
  • Follow through. Honor your commitments. If you agree to a particular deadline, don’t just aim to meet it but try to beat it. People will learn they can believe your word that you will get the job done on time.
  • Be helpful, with limits. Go out of your way to assist others at work. Your efforts will come back to you in more ways than you can imagine. At the same time, though, set reasonable boundaries so people don’t monopolize your time. The last thing you want is to be seen as a doormat.
  • Admit when you need help. People will trust you more if you display occasional vulnerability. Don’t understand a project or need some guidance? Speak up! It’s better to seek help than to disappoint those counting on you to do a good job.
  • Fess up to mistakes. A study we commissioned found that 91 percent of employees said they were more satisfied with their job when their boss admitted to mistakes. Why? It shows managers aren’t living in a bubble of arrogance where they believe they’re perfect. And it makes employees feel it’s safe to make their own mistakes.
  • Be kind. Simply saying “good morning” and asking about events going on in colleague’s personal lives can help you connect with others. Respect is earned by building meaningful relationships and showing that you genuinely care about those around you.

To learn more about earning respect in the workplace, please read the complete Business Insider article.