Do you want to discover ways to improve your reputation and standing in your job?
If so, read these 8 habits of the most highly respected people and apply them to your work.
1) They take the time to understand things from everyone’s point of view
Whether there are work conflicts, or just differences in opinions, a highly respected person will take the time to get to know where everyone is coming from, showing empathy.
This works on an emotional level but also on a job role level. Understanding the work needs of people in your team, and finding out what other teams see as a priority, fosters a great working environment.
In turn, this may even enable you to make suggestions, improving and streamlining processes.
The result? Everyone feels heard and enjoys their job a little bit more.
The bonus? The company runs better and becomes more profitable, and you get a great reputation.
For instance, I worked for a small online startup where the different teams often didn’t communicate much with each other. Although I couldn’t get to know everyone personally, I nurtured key relationships.
I did this by taking the time to understand the different job roles, asking certain people what would make their job easier, or anything else that the CEO had missed.
This led the staff to respect me and feel grateful, and deepen our strengths as a company.
2) They assume the role of where they want to be
Looking for a promotion? Well, the story above relates to this.
A few years ago, I got a job as an admin assistant in that company. It wasn’t what I really wanted to do, the hours were long and the pay was bad. I HAD to get a promotion.
So, as well as doing my own job, I took the initiative and looked for areas where things were inefficient or problematic. I looked for ways that I could help and improve the business, without being asked.
Essentially I assumed the role of a boss (in a non-arrogant way!) and it was soon noted and respected. And I got promoted to the head of the company in just 3 months.
3) They encourage others and make sure they get recognised
Nurturing the growth of others is a really important part of being highly respected at work.
One of the things I learned in the startup I worked for was to look out for other talented people. This was partly self-serving. Why? Because I wanted to be able to run the company with the help of others who were also good workers.
When I noticed these talented souls, I made sure to develop the relationship and let them know I appreciated them.
Then I pointed out their good work to the CEO, sometimes underplaying my role in a joint project or giving credit solely to them. (Because I already had enough respect from the CEO).
This built strong relationships and I still get messages and offers of work from people in that company to this day.
4) They act with integrity
As we are talking about talent, let’s turn to the bestselling book “Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creatives, and Winners Around the World”.
One of the authors, Tyler Cowen, mentions how he never leaves emails unanswered for more than a day. I’ve emailed him myself and can confirm that this busy man lives up to his own claims!
Although that example might be a little extreme for some, the overall point is valid. Highly respected people like Cowen make sure to show that they respect people’s time and effort, and respond quickly.
They also make sure to be diligent, doing what they say they will, or if that becomes impossible, letting others know that there will be a delay.
This shows that they are thorough and rigorous. Integrity at work brings high esteem in the eyes of coworkers and clients.
5) They create and maintain healthy boundaries
Sometimes we learn by seeing the opposite of what is good. At a different job role, I had a very diligent and hardworking manager called Alexandra.
The problem was that she took things too far. If she was assigned a difficult task she would work on it for way longer than she should have, burning herself out in the process.
Here’s the issue: Alexandra never told our boss that his work demands were too much for her. In fact, she would actually hide her status from showing as ‘online’, so that he wouldn’t see that she was still working.
What happened? He piled on even more work, unaware of what he was asking and assuming, I suppose, that she was superwoman.
Although Alexandra’s boss may have been happy with her productivity, he no longer respected her time or capacity. If she had set healthy work boundaries, this wouldn’t have happened.
6) They speak up for others
I’m a person who, for better and worse, has never been afraid to speak my mind in the workplace.
I’m not saying you should follow my lead here (I once got voted as ‘most likely to start a workers’ union’. Good or bad? You can be the judge of that!).
But one thing that highly respected people do is advocate respectfully for those who can’t or won’t do it for themselves.
In the case of my manager Alexandra, I warned our boss privately that she was burning herself out and if he didn’t take care, he was likely to lose her altogether through stress. He didn’t want that and so he reduced her workload.
Highly respected people know when to step up and champion another’s cause. And they also know when to stay quiet. (I’m still working on that one!)
7) They pitch in when it matters
It’s great to set healthy boundaries and maintain a good work life balance. But it’s also very important to stay flexible, and know when to go above and beyond your job role. That’s yet another habit that highly respected people practice.
So how can you apply this?
Perhaps there is an urgent matter that is critical to the company, and you know you can help. Or something that a co-worker is struggling with.
By going the extra mile and helping out, you show your coworkers, bosses and even your clients and customers that you really care.
In turn you become someone who is highly esteemed in your workplace.
8) They praise people and show gratitude for others’ work
How should you praise someone?
Depending on how senior the role is, praising people will look different. If the person is higher up in the company, it might look more like showing respect for something they have done. If they are lower down it can be as simple as boosting them up for their work and efforts.
Either way, gratitude stays more or less the same.
All jobs and roles tend to involve a bit of give and take. It could be as simple as saying thanks to the accounts department for paying you, or demonstrating your gratitude for someone who pitched in and helped you.
From the janitor to the head of the company, everyone deserves a bit of recognition and gratitude, and highly respected people know that.
So what’s the overall secret habit to being a highly respected person at work? Ultimately, you get what you give!