Have you ever wondered why some people seem to earn respect so easily, while others struggle to get the slightest bit of street cred from their colleagues?
It might appear from the outside that earning respect is only a matter of working hard and not gossiping, and, to a certain extent it is. But if you want it to come easily and authentically, there are some important characteristics that must be observed.
You see respect isn’t earned by a big pay cheque, a fancy title or a suave suit. Those things might command respect in company settings, but that’s not the real deal. Earning true respect starts with asking how you can change your behaviour to improve integrity in the eyes of others.
And for everyone from managing directors down to minions, that means observing these 6 characteristics.
Nothing tarnishes respect for someone than when they make you wait for them, so get everywhere on time. Being late shows a disregard for others time and commitments, which translates to a lack of respect for them. And because respect is a two way street, you need to hold up your end of the bargain to earn it.
You can’t pretend to be someone else to earn respect because eventually you’ll be found out. People are attracted to individuals who are exactly who they appear to be, not overcompensating for inadequacies or bluffing about themselves. Sure, you need to be the best person you can be, but you also must be authentic in that endeavour.
If you listen carefully and make time to hear what people are saying, they will be inclined to share more personal and important information with you. And if you can keep these things to yourself you’ll become someone that can be trusted, which is central to earning respect. Also, with the extra insight you get into colleagues you’ll be in a much better position to help them out.
Encourage experimentation and innovation in those around you by being able to correct and forgive mistakes when reasonable risks are taken. This doesn’t mean being a softy, just helping others come back better from failures and instilling confidence in them to try again. This ability to provide guidance and forgive failure is an immensely respected characteristic.
Be An Authority
People respect experts, in whatever field or niche the knowledge is in, so set about becoming the resident authority on something specific. It might only be a matter of 5 minutes a day reading the industry email newsletter or searching the subject. Make it relevant to what you do, and next time somebody’s seeking input or advice in the area, you’ll be the respected authority on the matter.
But in all this don’t overextend yourself or be open to exploitation. Set boundaries and be firm on them. Don’t ever say you will do more than you can or intend to do, and if somebody tries to push your time or generosity too far, reaffirm those boundaries. It’s tough love, but it’s respected too.Stay up to date with all the latest news and innovative insights from KBB - Subscribe to our newsletter, lend an ear to our Tweets or get friendly on Facebook!