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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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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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