How To Earn Respect In the Workplace

10 mins

By definition, respect is the 'deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their ab...

By definition, respect is the 'deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements' and as such, hold the key to creating a healthy, progressive workplace environment. Without respect in teams among members and colleagues, some may find it difficult to perform their role. The following tips will provide a few insight that will help you be more positive and respectful at work. They are:

Give your time to other people

One of the most respectable qualities in a colleague is someone that will go above and beyond to help make the lives of others around them just a little bit easier. And the simplest way to do so is by being a good active listener. In a study conducted by York University by psychologist Faye Doell in 2003, the act of active listening is found to help develop better, happier relationships. Top tip: take the time to understand what's being said!

Respect the rules

Ever heard of the saying ‘respect yourself and others will respect you?’ Well, there’s a lot of truth to the saying and to earn the respect of others you have to start with yourself. How? By honouring the rules of the workplace. In doing so, you'll avoid creating difficult or unnecessary situations with your team and colleagues. After all, a big part of being a working professional is to learn how to be respectful and to work within the guidelines set out. Do that and, you'll be on your way to becoming a good team player!

Be comfortable with your colleagues

People find it hard to relate to someone they don’t know, so don’t hide away. You don’t have to be the loudest voice in the room but having a friendly conversation with your colleagues will make the workplace more relaxed and even more productive. Create an easy, comfortable working environment for you and your colleagues so that you may work better and faster together.

Work hard and smart

In a place where everyone is working the same hours in close proximity, working hard and smarter is a big deal because no one likes a slacker in a sea of dedicated employees. It’s much better to be working just as hard as everyone else instead of trying to avoid work. This way, your colleagues will see you as an equal and not the person that brings the group down. 

Work ‘above the line’

By ‘above the line’ I mean be positive. There’s no use in being negative it stunts productivity and brings the mood down for everyone else. If someone is a bit late on a task, just understand that it’s really not the end of the world. Instead of instantly being annoyed, think about how you can both overcome the current situation together.

Remember that you and your colleagues are not in a battle but are working together to achieve a common goal so don’t slow the process down with pointless arguments or thoughts! This sort of thinking will likely gain the respect of your employees and will keep the workplace fast-paced, efficient and above all, positive.

Learn from your mistakes

Just as you should accept inconveniences from others, you have to accept when you have caused an inconvenience and learn from it. Treat others how you wish to be treated. No matter how many years you spend learning and growing in an industry, you are bound to make mistakes, so when others point it out remember to take it in your stride. Just as with working ‘above the line’, learning from your mistakes is about not dwelling on the little stuff.

Don’t be afraid to ask colleagues for help

No one will know everything and from time to time, we all need a helping hand. As The Beatles would say, ‘I get by with a little help from my friends’ and though that’s lyrical, this is just as true at work. Ask for help (and offer your help) and people will respect you for being honest about needing their advice or opinion. So don’t be shy, just ask!

Be nice to colleagues

Work is the last place you want to start ruffling feathers. No one wants to work in uncomfortable situations so avoid creating or contributing to such negativity. Of course, you will probably meet people that you don’t get along with or wouldn’t spend time with outside of working hours but that doesn’t mean you have to let it affect your working relationships. Just keep calm, be kind and whatever you do, do not get involved in workplace gossip or drama.

Respect others wishes and be tidy

Being messy is something that can really get on people’s nerves especially if they tend to be tidy. If you were to work from home then feel free to scatter crisp packets to your heart’s content but in a shared workspace this is definitely not acceptable. So as a rule that’s pretty self-explanatory: tidy up after yourself, don’t get your mess in anyone’s way and do not underestimate the effects of a wrapper for some people.

To sum it up quickly: if you decide to be negative, unfriendly and messy then you’re bound to foster some negative feelings from the people you work with. Just treat others how you would want to be treated and you will be on your way to keeping the workplace an enjoyable and productive environment. Respect is only something you can earn yourself, so if you want to create a more positive working environment for you and your colleagues then consider using the above advice. 

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