Do you want to be liked and respected by your bosses and colleagues? You’re more likely to go places, so to speak, when others actually like your personality and respect your work. You may, for example, get the promotion you’ve always wanted and got your ideas off the ground, partly because your teammates and team leader believe that you’re a capable individual.
But being liked and respected takes hard work away. You don’t get it on a silver platter since your personality and work ethics come into play. You should then consider these 20 ways that are sure to earn your bosses’ and co-workers’ respect over time.
1. Respect Begets Respect
We’ve all heard it but it’s true even when it sounds cliché – respect is earned. You have to respect everybody, from the janitor to the CEO of the company, so that you can also be respected. Your co-workers and bosses will be able to pick up whether you’re being sincerely nice or hiding behind a façade to get what you want.
Be courteous and nice to the people you come across regardless of their appearance, social status, and political leanings, among others. Keep in mind that everybody has a story to tell so you will give them the respect they deserve, even if they don’t need it.
2. Do Your Job as Well as You Can
In the workplace, employees and managers are measured by their work performance for good reasons. You must then establish a reputation for being good, if not great, at your job so you will be respected by others. Your results will speak for themselves so keep on delivering them, as well as ensure that you’re on time for work, nice toward others, and give your inputs, among others.
3. Connect With People and Connect Them to Each Other
Your personal and professional networks should be put to good use not only in advancing your interests but also in advancing the interests of others. You should connect with people on a meaningful level – or at least, as meaningful as necessary – so that you can actually establish a relationship beyond acquaintanceship with them. You have to remember names, too, as names are personal to people.
Furthermore, you should connect people, a way of showing others that you like sharing your resources. For example, refer your friend who’s looking for a tiny home to your realtor friend who’s in need of a sale.
4. Use “I” Statements Less
When you’re talking to others, whether in the upper or lower rank in the corporate hierarchy than you are, you should be more mindful about your use of the “I” statements. You will be seen as less selfish and more respectful than when you’re using “You” statements more.
5. Actively Listen to Others
None of the “in the other ear, out the other” nonsense, when you’re talking to others, even when you’re distracted during the conversation. You have to actively listen to the other person, show him or her that you’re present in the moment, and adopt an open body language (e.g., arms relaxed by your side). You should also ask questions to show that, indeed, you’re listening instead of being absent in mind, present in the body.
6. Remember People and Their Uniqueness
Let’s face it. People like to feel special, which can be achieved by remembering small details about them, such as their hobbies, interests or vacations. You will feel the same way, too, because it means that the other person is interested in you as a person, not just another nameless face in the crowd.
During the conversation, you can reference one or two small details about the other person. For example, “Hey, you like modern art, don’t you? I heard that MOMA is exhibiting a new artist.”
7. Admit Your Mistakes
You’re human so you will make mistakes no matter how competent you are at your job. You should then acknowledge when you make a mistake, a trait that shows both your confidence and humility. Your bosses and co-workers will appreciate your honesty since it will give them time to resolve the issues caused by your oversight.
Tip: You can apologize through a handwritten note, an email or in a face-to-face meeting depending on the situation. You can, for example, apologize through a face-to-face meeting if your mistake directly affected another person.
8. Fix Your Mistakes
You shouldn’t stop with admitting your mistake – you must also fix it! Your willingness to do so means that you’re not letting others clean up your mess – or in other words, fess up and clean up your mess! If necessary, you can ask for assistance from others to make things right again.
9. Ask for Feedback
When you’re receptive to feedback on your work and personality, you’re also showing that you’re open to growth. You aren’t perfect and, thus, you shouldn’t think and act like you’re one, and feedback is an essential part of self-development success. You may, for example, solicit for your boss’ and co-workers’ opinions about the things that you can be doing better.
10. Give Feedback, Too
Just as you’re open to constructive criticism, you should also be willing to give others your positive feedback and constructive criticism. Think of it as a give-and-take dynamic that will contribute to your personal and professional growth as well as for the other person. But be careful about being the office’s outspoken critic with negativity in nearly every word you say.
11. Do Small Nice Deeds
Often, small things make the largest impact on others! You don’t even have to spend more dollars than you can afford on doing small nice deeds for others! Think of meaningful ways that you can make a difference in the life of a co-worker, even your boss, who may be having a less than stellar day.
Think: A thoughtful note that will make somebody smile; a small bouquet of flowers for a co-worker who was promoted; and a cup of coffee for a co-worker who hasn’t taken a break.
12. Communicate with Authority and Warmth
While it takes work, it’s possible to be a person of authority who’s also seen as a warm, friendly and nice person. The right balance between strength and competence on one hand and warmth and friendliness, on the other hand, makes for a great leader.
13. Have A Clear Work-Life Boundary
While being a hard worker will earn you the respect of your co-workers and bosses, you shouldn’t be working all the time either. People respect individuals who have clear boundaries between their personal and professional lives and it applies in your case, too. You should also ask people to respect your boundaries, such as your Sundays are for family business only.
14. Say “No” When Needed
You may want your boss and co-workers to like and respect you by doing them favors, perhaps by working overtime on most days to finish a job. But it’s not actually the best way to earn their respect – the more favors you give, the more likely that you will become a doormat. You have to say “no” in some instances, whether because it isn’t part of your job or it’s taking time away from your family.
Just be sure to turn others down nicely but firmly. You don’t want to antagonize them either.
15. Take a Stand
While you want to be liked, you don’t want to be known as the “yes” man in your team, especially if you’re the leader. You should have well-informed opinions on matters affecting your team and you shouldn’t be afraid to express them. But don’t be stubborn either when your ideas aren’t being welcomed with open arms by the others – again, be sure to listen and admit that you don’t possess all the knowledge and skills in the world.
16. Don’t Gossip
Don’t waste your time putting other people down and speculating about their lives. You may, nonetheless, spend time socializing with others during your coffee break but do so to get to know your colleagues, not gossip about them.
17. Help the Newbies
When there are newbies, you can be part of the welcoming committee, even become a mentor, sort of, to one of them. You may also just express your willingness to provide them with answers, introduce them to the others, and make them feel more comfortable in their new workplace.
18. Be a Teacher or Mentor
You should share your knowledge and skills – or better yet, be a mentor, if you have it in you – with others. It’s a great way to train your co-workers without spending a dime of the company’s money, too.
19. Be a Champion of Your Employees
This doesn’t mean that you should turn a blind eye to the wrongdoings of others because it isn’t good for the company and the team. But if you can be your team’s champion and cheerleader, then you will have served a purpose greater than you are. Plus, when you’re helping others find growth opportunities within the team, you’re also advancing the team.
20. Have a Positive Outlook
Most important, you must have a realistic but positive outlook on life. Your bosses and co-workers will appreciate that there’s a person who finds the good in a bad situation and who also suggests solutions for it.