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5 Ways to Show and Earn Respect

give and earn respectMutual respect in the workplace creates a solid foundation for positive teamwork and professional success.

Respect isn’t a given, but if you show respect first, it usually follows quickly in return.

Here are five ways to foster respect in the workplace.

1. Speak words of affirmation – Recognize the efforts of all those you work with, and express your appreciation for a job well done. Everyone appreciates an acknowledgement for their time and completed work. It may be as simple as saying a sincere, “thanks,” “good job,” or “awesome work.” When you say positive things, your encouraging spirit makes an impact on all those you work with, fostering general goodwill.

2. Listen before speaking – Make it a habit to listen first and speak second. Make sure you understand what is being said and aren’t just waiting for your turn to talk. Waiting to respond until others are done talking can avoid misinterpretations and miscommunication. You can acknowledge the person and show them that you’re listening by nodding your head or responding non-verbally. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if necessary. Listening not only enhances your understanding, it demonstrates professionalism and respect as well.

3. Act with kindness – Be courteous, polite, and kind to those around you, treating them equally and fairly. Speak with a positive tone, offer help or guidance if needed, and use others’ ideas to improve your own work, recognizing their input. Treating others as you wish to be treated, or better, and having a positive attitude will help you remain optimistic and give you the capability to tactfully and politely work through any situation. Be kind in every aspect of your work, from returning a phone call when you said you would to opening the door for someone else.

4. Display integrity – Trust is the foundation of strong co-worker relationships. Be honest with your co-workers and your supervisors, even when you have to admit you’re wrong or that you’ve made a mistake. Speak, act, and react with professionalism and integrity, no matter what the situation. Displaying your integrity throughout all aspects of your work will allow others to trust you, but in return, you also have to trust them.

5. Demonstrate a strong work ethic – Demonstrating a solid work ethic goes beyond showing others that you’re reliable and can get your work done accurately and timely. When you’re dependable, others can look to you for guidance and support, fostering teamwork and trust. Once you’ve shown you can complete your tasks as assigned, while keeping a positive attitude, you may gain not only respect, but also more responsibilities and opportunities. A strong work ethic is more than doing what you’re asked; it’s also being proactive to prove your reliability.

Fostering mutual respect takes time and effort, and doesn’t always come easily. So, use the guidelines above to demonstrate respect and trust toward others, and you’ll gain their trust and respect in return.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find Out What it Means at Work

Earning Respect at WorkEarning respect at work is a lofty goal when starting a new job. We know we should all strive to earn it, but what does it mean in the context of the workplace? Earning respect shouldn’t focus solely on your clients, co-workers, and management.

In order to earn respect, you have to give it. Here are three aspects of your career that you should strive to not only gain respect, but also advance your career.

Respect Yourself
Many of us seek respect from others, yet we don’t even respect ourselves. Have you ever beaten yourself up over a mistake? Many times when we make big enough mistakes, we treat ourselves poorly by not getting enough sleep, proper diet, or exercise. When we don’t take care of ourselves, it certainly affects the quality of our work. No one can hope to gain respect from others if they don’t respect themselves. Start by loving who we are, and the admiration from others will come subsequently.

Respect Criticism
Despite what you may think, being respected doesn’t mean you won’t receive criticism. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The more well-known you are in your work, the more censure you’ll receive.

During my first job at a grocery store, my boss became increasingly critical of my work. I was the only one he would personally follow behind to review the tables I rotated and filled. It got to the point that I felt like he was nit-picking me for no reason. Instead of getting angry, I asked him about it and learned that he was holding me to a higher standard than the others. I had potential and he wanted me to be ready for management.

It’s not about rejecting criticism, but rather, being able to handle it gracefully. People respect those who are able to handle constructive feedback and turn it into something positive.

Respect Your Work
No matter what line of work, the most highly regarded people are those who are the best at what they do. Everyone loves competent people, especially those who present their best work all the time. If you’re new to the job market, learning your role and excelling put you on the fast track for respect. It’s about starting small and building from there.

By gaining experience and improving your skills you’ll establish yourself as the best and earn the admiration from others. It’s not instantaneous, but the respect people have of you will grow over time.

Being respectful isn’t just about other people. It starts within and works its way out to other people. When you respect yourself and what you do, it’s contagious and others will give that respect back to you. How about you? What are some ways you’ve earned respect in the workplace?