Success in your career requires that you earn respect. Your boss, your colleagues, and your subordinates are all essential to maximizing your career trajectory, and without their respect you’re less likely to be afforded the opportunities to demonstrate your value. Here are a number of things to keep in mind that will help get you the respect you need.
First, add value. Produce results. Nothing earns respect for someone faster than their ability to make things happen. A half-hearted commitment to your job isn’t going to be admired by anyone.
Take a genuine interest in others. You can’t expect others to pay attention and give respect to you if you’re not doing the same to them. Something to pay particular attention to is to give others your full presence. That means looking them squarely in the eyes, and most definitely do not succumb to the temptation of checking your phone at the sound of the latest incoming email or text.
Be willing to admit that you don’t know or that you’re wrong. Respect is undermined when people’s bullshit meter goes off, which it does (or eventually will) when they realize that you’re spouting falsehoods to cover up mistakes or ignorance.
Be ethical. Cutting ethical corners may get you to a desired end result quicker, but it can’t help but plant a seed of doubt in your fellow workers about your trustworthiness.
Similarly, avoid gossip. Talking trash about people behind their backs plants a different seed of doubt: “What if he’s gossiping about me when I’m not around?”
Be true to your word: Show up on time. Complete the tasks you’ve committed to undertake. An essential component of respect is reliability.
Exhibit humility. You don’t always need to be in the spotlight. You might even consider sharing that spotlight with colleagues and team members. And don’t boast about your accomplishments – in most instances you can let them speak for themselves. By the same token, though, don’t be so meek as to allow others to steal the glory.
Work on staying even-tempered and calm. Your fellow workers will appreciate your ability to avoid drama, ‘sturm and drang.’
For extra respect points, be willing to speak truth to power or to advocate for a point-of-view in which you believe but may be unpopular. Standing up for something you believe in, handled sensitively, demonstrates a deep sense of integrity. And who isn’t impressed with integrity?
Last cultivate SELF-RESPECT! It’s going to be hard to engender respect towards you from others if you’re unable to feel it yourself. If you’re not confident in your abilities and about your contributions you need to commit to building the esteem in which you hold yourself. That of course could be a major endeavor; for some initial tips on how to do it please see my blog post on building self esteem: