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21 Ways You Can Earn The Respect Of Others

21 Ways You Can Earn The Respect Of Others

You want to be respected, but you’re not sure how this whole thing works. The key here is to stop focusing on you, and start thinking about others. How can you help others? How can you inspire change, growth, and innovation? When you think about the people you respect deeply, what do they do differently from the average person? While you’re thinking about that, here are some of my own tips:

1. Be relentlessly proactive.

Don’t always wait for direction from others. Use your own skills and resources to start getting things done and solve problems. Get in the habit of figuring things out for yourself. Don’t be afraid of a challenge once in a while.

2. Keep your promises.

This is by far one of the most important actions you can take to start gaining respect. If you took commitments lightly in the past, don’t do that anymore. Always honor commitments and promises. If you find yourself having a lot of trouble with that, it means you make too many promises you can’t keep.

3. Stop apologizing.

People who are constantly saying, “I’m sorry,” without giving it a second thought are usually not the ones that are well respected. There is a time and place for apologies. Sometimes you make mistakes that affect family and friends. You can apologize to them. Meanwhile, stop using the word “sorry” a hundred times an hour for every little thing that goes wrong, especially in the workplace.

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4. Don’t waste other people’s time.

If you respect others’ time, they will respect yours. This includes not being late for appointments, not spending meetings talking about useless items, getting to the point fast, bringing up issues right away, being succinct, and of course, making it easier for others to make decisions, especially when they are busier than you.

5. Stop gossiping immediately.

Always act as if the person you’re talking about is right there with you. You need to respect others—even if you don’t like them. Everyone has desirable and undesirable traits. Realize this and talk from this fundamental belief. If you talk behind people’s backs, you and your reputation will quickly become irrelevant.

6. Stop being too nice.

Distinguish kindness from always having to do things for people. Trying to make everyone happy won’t get you very far. Being a pushover is highly undesirable if your goal is to be respected. If you’re too nice to everyone all the time, some people might even think you’re not genuine.

7. Practice humility.

You’re not always going to be right, and you’re not the best at everything. Every person you meet can teach you something. Confidence doesn’t come from a place where you’re the best. True confidence comes from understanding humility, and that every person has something unique to offer to the world, including you.

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8. Have a moral code.

Many overlook this important little piece of advice. What do you believe in? What’s important to you? What makes you mad and want to change the world? These kinds of questions will get you to the core of your own personal moral code. Figure it out and share it with the world in small amounts. All the great leaders of the world had a clear moral code.

9. Be open-minded.

At the other extreme of having a moral code is to remain open-minded. Being open-minded is not complicated, nor is it in conflict with having a moral code. It simply means that you acknowledge that you still have so much to learn, and you continue learning from others, even if you have a strong core belief system.

10. Add real value.

Whether you’re part of a community, a company, a group of friends or a team, you will be respected if you always think of ways to offer value to others. Value can come in many forms, but in the end it’s all about offering something to the world or to your community that can help by solving a problem for them. If you create something of value, people will respect you.

11. Always do your homework.

This means do the due diligence. When you’re interviewing someone, do the background research and find out everything you need to know to make an effective interview. When you’re going to a job interview, make sure you’ve done your homework about the company and know what their needs are. When you’re talking to friends, listen and retain information from the conversations and remember things that they care about for next time.

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12. Be inspiring.

You can be inspiring by talking to others about your passions and goals without holding back. You can be inspiring by endlessly encouraging others to follow their dreams, goals, and visions, and showing that you have faith in them.

13. Learn to say, “No.”

Don’t feel guilty about saying no once in a while. Don’t worry about missed opportunities either. You don’t need to agree to everything that someone asks from you, especially if it is a superior or a client. Sometimes, you are more respected by saying no, rather than agreeing to do a thing. When you say no, you show you’re not afraid of admitting that you value your time, and that you don’t have time for everything.

14. Don’t believe the self-talk.

If you want others to respect you, of course it’s obvious that you need to respect yourself. It’s not always easy, as we all have our bad days. On those days, you will experience negative self-talk. Don’t believe it. Remember your strengths and learn from your mistakes. Confidence comes from knowing that failure and imperfection are the paths to greatness.

15. Believe in your ideas.

Don’t discard your ideas, even if they seem funny, weird, or unorthodox. Embrace your creativity and follow through with your ideas. If you follow through you will achieve something great—and others will wonder how you came up with such a unique idea. The thing is, most people have these unique ideas, but most people are afraid to follow up and implement them, because they seem too far-fetched.

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16. Speak up when you’re mistreated.

Don’t just take it when someone is mistreating you, or taking advantage of you. Be professional and diplomatic, but don’t be silent. Speaking up for yourself is not always easy to do, which is why it is the mark of a person deserving respect.

17. Stand up for someone else.

When you see injustice around you, do you ignore it in order to avoid confrontation? Sometimes you have no choice, but there are moments when you need to stand up for others, especially when they cannot stand up for themselves. You don’t need to please everyone. Don’t be afraid of confrontation once in a while, as long as you do it in a diplomatic way.

18. Speak your mind.

When it is necessary, make sure you speak your mind. People who are highly respected have strong opinions on many topics, and lots of ideas about how to improve things. Don’t be afraid to mention these ideas once in a while, especially during a meeting, brainstorming session, or casual gathering.

19. Stop talking.

Sometimes you need to stop talking and listen. People who talk endlessly without pause are not usually respected (with very few exceptions). Listen to others. Stop talking about yourself all the time. Genuinely listen to people—really listen and try to understand them. Use silence to your advantage. Not every pause should be filled up with noise. Taking a moment to consider a thing before you open your mouth is almost always going to command respect.

20. Care about others.

Start caring about others. Pay attention to your surroundings and the people in your life, whether it is at work, home or church. Genuinely caring about others and showing concern during times of need shows empathy—a powerful trait of good leadership. It also shows that you don’t only focus on yourself, and that you have the emotional capability to pay attention and give help when needed. Not everyone can do this, which is why it is so powerful.

21. Control your emotions.

Make sure to curb your instant reactions to things that make you highly emotional—whether it is good or bad. Sure, it’s OK to be yourself and show enthusiasm. But remember that good leaders and well-respected people know the difference between responding and reacting. The latter is not a good habit.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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