I have met many, many people who truly believe that respect that should be given just because of their status, title, or background. For me, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Respect is earned, and if you happen to step into a position that you are now working with, overseeing, or associating with new people, that respect must be earned through your actions.
Show respect: Respect is a two-way street and showing respect towards others shows that you deserve their respect, that you hold their ideas and thoughts in high regard, and that you are willing to treat others as you want to be treated.
Actions: When working toward gaining the respect of others, your actions will speak much louder than your words. If you commit to a deadline or meeting time, keep those commitments. If you make a promise that you will do something, keep that promise. If you ensure confidentiality, make sure that the confidentiality is kept no matter what. You can say, promise, commit whatever you’d like, but if you don’t follow-through and keep your word, then there is nothing to respect.
Be honest: This is a big, big one. Don’t ever lie, no matter how small the lie. Especially don’t lie about your abilities and work habits as this will backfire eventually. Being upfront and honest about you, your abilities, and your work habits will encourage the building of respect from your peers and your superiors.
Be good at what you do: You don’t have to be an expert in your field, you just have to be willing to grow, learn, and build on your existing skills. Respect will be earned through your hard work and dedication to your field as others will see (again, your actions) that you are willing to grow and become the best. But, be careful that you don’t step on others’ toes in your quest to become the best.
Be professional: This encompasses so much more than just being professional with your peers and supervisors. This includes not gossiping, talking bad about others, dressing professionally, speaking professionally at all times, and standing up for what you believe in through communicating on a professional level. Respecting yourself to not get involved with the office drama and dressing in a professional manner will earn you the respect of the right people.
Be a role model: Being a role model in your personal and professional life will increase your ability to earn the respect of others. Make good decisions in your life and associate yourself with the right people. You don’t have to be a superhero or be involved in hundreds of charity events, but living a moral and good life will help you earn the respect of the right people.
While working toward earning the respect of others, ensure you are attempting to gain the respect of the right people. If you work toward being a good person, surrounding yourself with good people, living a good life, doing your best, and showing your willingness to learn you will gain the respect from the right people.