I don’t know of a single person who doesn’t want to feel valued in the workplace. When you’re respected by your colleagues, you feel confident and capable, which goes a long way toward climbing up the career ladder.
Maybe you’re here because you feel that you aren’t receiving the respect you deserve in the office, and that’s making you miserable. Or perhaps you want to know how to build credibility among your peers in your new position.
No matter your reasons, if you want to be respected at work, start doing these 9 things every day.
While respect is definitely earned and won’t happen overnight, these 9 habits can make the process less challenging and won’t cost you anything.
1) Make good eye contact with everyone you talk to.
Eye contact is one of the simplest ways you can earn the respect of your coworkers. Every day, whether you’re talking to them or merely listening, holding their gaze is a way to show them that you’re present and paying attention to them.
This behavior doesn’t just include the people in your office or your manager, but everyone, from employees in another department and cleaning staff to customers who walk through the door.
You want the people you come across on a daily basis to know that you see and hear them, regardless of their position or status. It just creates a positive impression that people will appreciate and remember.
What you shouldn’t do is stare deeply into their eyes without blinking! A very strong gaze comes across as intimidating more than validating, so find a good balance between keeping eye contact and looking away, then maintaining their gaze in conversation.
It should come naturally, but I understand that for some people, holding eye contact can leave you feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Unfortunately, failing to look at someone when they’re talking to you is perceived as being rude and not interested.
What should you do if you feel uncomfortable with eye contact?
My advice is to practice with friends and family. They can point things out about your behavior and help you improve your eye contact over time.
2) Show others respect.
You have to give respect to get respect. It goes without saying.
There’s no way that you can expect to be valued and admired by others at work if you don’t show the same level of consideration and appreciation.
No matter who you’re communicating with, always show respect first by being polite, attentive, and patient. You’ll notice that being courteous, without being a pushover, gets noticed by the people you work with in a very positive way.
Again, showing good eye contact, paying attention when someone speaks to you, and allowing others to be themselves in your presence are all simple yet effective ways to earn respect.
There’s one thing that you should always remember when it comes to respecting others. People never forget how you treat them and how you make them feel.
3) Be punctual.
How can anyone take you seriously if you stroll into your job at your convenience? I’m not talking about starting hours later, but being 10 or 15 minutes late every day can paint a negative picture of your commitment and work ethic.
Punctuality is the answer to creating a positive and lasting impression because people take you seriously when you literally put the time and effort into what you do.
Even if your boss dismisses your late mornings, there’s no way that your colleagues are turning a blind eye. They see it, and despite not saying much about it, it can build resentment when they show up on time.
If you’re already starting your day on schedule and sticking to deadlines, keep it up. Don’t give anyone a reason to find fault with you.
4) Listen to others.
One of my biggest pet peeves is talking to someone and just being ignored or dismissed. I’m always of the opinion that if you can’t listen to someone because you’re busy with something, let them know and catch up with them later rather than ignore them.
So you can imagine how someone else would feel if they spoke to you and realized that you weren’t paying any attention to them.
Listening is such an easy behavior to help you earn the respect of your colleagues because it shows that you’re dependable.
But sometimes, it can be challenging.
If you disagree with someone or you know that they’re misinformed, don’t cut them off while they’re talking. Listen to what they’re saying and respond mindfully. Even if they don’t appreciate your effort, someone else will.
Everybody likes a good listener, especially in the workplace.
5) Show your gratitude.
Gratitude is about showing someone that they’re valued and appreciated.
When you’re in the workplace, practicing gratitude on a daily basis is about showing appreciation and courteousness and not taking your colleagues for granted.
If they help you with deadlines or do you a favor, don’t forget to let them know that you appreciate their effort. Say thank you or prepare a cup of early morning coffee for them as a kind gesture.
Let them know that their good deeds or efforts don’t go unnoticed.
Many people underestimate workplace gratitude, but it plays a significant role in how others perceive you, and that comes down to respecting you.
For those in positions of authority or leadership, make the time to let your team members know their contributions matter. You can do this by praising their efforts for a job well done or motivating them to apply for a promotion they’ve had their eye on.
You’ll be sure to gain the respect of others just by showing daily gratitude.
6) Communicate clearly.
Whether you’re a manager or project leader, you need to inspire confidence in others to be respected.
That means being transparent and trustworthy in your communication with the people who work with you.
Mumbling, whispering under your breath, or dominating conversations don’t make other people feel positive about you. These, in addition to your body language, could be signs of insecurity.
You’ll need to focus on a confident delivery when you speak, regardless of who you’re talking to.
Your boss and colleagues want reassurance that you know what you’re talking about, so if you have a meeting or presentation, prepare and speak with clarity.
In your communication, respond to emails and messages on time, and if you commit to something, follow through with it.
You can practice these behaviors daily, and in no time, you’ll find that the people you work with will show more confidence in your abilities and appreciate who you are.
7) Exercise patience.
Think about this. Your coworker approaches you about an upcoming report, and they’re ready to discuss the latest sales figures. Rather than make the time to help them, you brush them off and send them on their way. Or you show no interest at all and hope they get the message.
These might be extreme examples, but patience is necessary when you want to be respected in the workplace.
Patience is a valuable personality trait that helps you stay calm and mindful when dealing with conflict and shows the other person that you’re authentic and caring.
You’ll come across people with different personalities and capabilities during your career. You’ll have to work with these individuals or manage them depending on your position, so practicing daily patience can go a long way to gaining respect and admiration.
8) Be assertive.
You can be kind and caring toward your colleagues and team members, but they won’t respect you if they discover that they can take advantage of you.
Being assertive at work is not always easy because there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance.
No one likes a bossy, know-it-all attitude.
Assertiveness is not about telling people what to do all day or shutting down their views. It’s about recognizing your own strengths and showing someone else respect and consideration, even if you disagree with them.
When you’re confident and assertive, you can earn recognition by voicing your opinions in a respectful manner. At the same time, you’ll be protecting yourself from being overlooked or dismissed.
9) Dress the part.
There’s no doubt that people take you a lot more seriously when you dress to impress.
Putting some effort into your overall image and planning your attire for your work day or week won’t go unnoticed.
Remember that people judge your outward appearance as much as we want them to look beyond the exterior. So, think of yourself as a canvas that you’re presenting to the workforce.
You still want to feel like yourself but with a professional edge that you know others will respect.
A good presentation never gets ignored.
When you feel like you aren’t being respected by your colleagues, it demotivates you and makes you want to quit your job.
But before you make any drastic decisions, you can practice the 9 things I’ve mentioned in this article to help you work towards earning admiration and credibility among your peers.
By showing that you’re reliable and always professional, you can earn the trust of your coworkers and prove your value at the same time.