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12 Effective Ways To Gain Respect In The Workplace

12 Effective Ways To Gain Respect In The Workplace

This week saw the release of the OECD’s globally relevant ‘Better Life Index’, which ranks international countries according to 11 criteria sets that are reportedly crucial to a happy life. Including data concerning health, education, income and environment, it also asks respondents to evaluate their priorities in life and analyzes their overall “sense of happiness”.

Many of the criteria revolve around the world of work, especially when you consider annual income levels and the environment that we are exposed to every day. A productive and contented work life is crucial if you are to maintain a genuine sense of happiness, as without this you may find it difficult to remain positive or maintain a strong sense of self.

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    So what exactly makes us happy in the workplace? In truth there are multiple factors that impact on a contented working life, but gaining respect from our colleagues is arguably the single most important. This forms the foundation for daily working relationships and long-term progression within a particular industry, so consider the following steps towards achieving this:

    1. Demonstrate your worth and value as an employee.

    The process of gaining respect from both colleagues and superiors begins from the moment you first enter the workplace, and you must immediately demonstrate an understanding of your worth and unique value as an employee. This must not only be reflected in the salary that you demand from your managers, but also in the way that you undertake your role and add value to the business through the completion of individual tasks that fall within your job description.

    2. Interact with your colleagues and care about their lives.

    Even with the best of intentions, our lives can sometimes take an unwanted or potentially disruptive turn. This can make it difficult to attend work with a smile and a proactive attitude, but this is crucial if you want to retain the respect of those around you. By continuing to interact with your colleagues and taking a genuine interest in their lives–even during times of hardship–you are displaying an eminently human quality that commands the good will of others.

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    3. Speak calmly and listen to others.

    Respect must always be a mutual concept, as you cannot hope to gain it without offering it in the first instance. It is therefore crucial that you remain a good listener at all times, and take the opinions of others on board before taking a direct action or decision. On a similar note, you must always speak calmly when interacting with both colleagues and superiors, as otherwise you run the risk of alienating them and developing a reputation as someone who is difficult to work with.

    4. Always smile during times of triumph.

    While the world of work can be challenging, this should not detract from those occasions where you achieve a goal or successfully complete a project. It is important to celebrate these moments, both as an individual and as part of a larger team. A warm and positive smile serves to underline a job well done. This will help to foster greater levels of morale over time, while it will also cement your position as a popular and well-respected employee.

    5. Deal with adversity in a similar manner.

    Just as professional sportsmen are tested more in defeat than they are in victory, so too the average employee must dig deeper during adversity than in times of prosperity. You must treat both of these entities with a positive and proactive attitude, and maintain your smile even during challenging and difficult times. Your ability to maintain a focused and level head will only boost the esteem in which you are held; this is also a key attribute to have in the business world.

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    6. Go above and beyond the call of duty.

    Whenever you start a job, you are given a basic salary and a job description that outlines the tasks under your control. As you develop relationships with those around you and earn greater levels of responsibility, however, you must be willing to operate outside of these boundaries and do more than is expected of you. Whether this is covering for an unforeseen absence or completing a project within a specified deadline, your willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty will ensure that you remain well-respected among your peers.

    7. Make collaboration a key aspect of your work life.

    On a similar note, there may also be instances where it is necessary to work on a collaborative project with different colleagues and departments. This can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with their working methods or prefer to operate on an independent basis. Earning universal respect requires you to communicate with people across multiple levels, regardless of status or pre-existing relationship. With this in mind, you must always be open to collaboration and strive to work effectively with any kind of team.

    8. Establish boundaries and understand your limits.

    Achieving respect in the workplace is a delicate balancing act, as while you must be willing to take on additional work and collaborate, it is also important that you prioritize your own professional goals. You must strive to understand your limits and establish boundaries as an employee, as this ensures that your position is never compromised by taking on too heavy a workload. If you fail to do this, you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed and at the mercy of more selfish and manipulative colleagues.

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    9. Practice the virtue of patience.

    Professional respect relies on your ability to showcase both compassion and understanding, as you must make the most of your colleagues’ strengths while also making allowances for their weaknesses. Everyone brings a unique skill-set to the workplace, while each individual also works at his or her own pace. It is crucial that you are patient when dealing with colleagues and superiors, as this enables you to become a productive and respected member of a multi-layered organization.

    10. Avoid the perils of office gossip.

    While office gossip can occasionally be fun and even insightful, it must be avoided at all costs if you are to be respected as a trustworthy and conscientious employee. Not only does a willingness to engage in gossip suggest that you are incapable of discreetly managing potentially sensitive information, but it also creates the impression of someone who has a less than dedicated approach to their work. Neither of these attributes are likely to inspire respect within the workplace, especially if you are based in a relatively small office where behavior can be easily analyzed.

    11. Deal with conflict in a proactive and mature manner.

    Rather like gossip, conflict is an inevitable and yet unpleasant aspect of any busy workplace. While the former can be avoided, the latter cannot and it is how you handle professional conflict that determines whether or not you are likely to earn the respect of your colleagues. By adopting a proactive approach and confronting such conflict in a mature manner, for example, you can achieve an amicable resolution and easily earn the respect of those around you. This is crucial; it can also help to strengthen professional relationships over time.

    12. Become a problem solver.

    As I touched on earlier, professional respect can also be achieved simply by adding unique value to the workplace. While you can do this by undertaking your role tenaciously and effectively, it is also possible to become a talented problem solver with skills in analytical thinking, strategizing, and negotiation. Every workplace needs a proactive problem solver, so by taking on the mantle and fulfilling this need you can gain newfound respect among your colleagues.

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    Last Updated on February 25, 2020

    15 Personal Goals for Work to Help You Succeed

    15 Personal Goals for Work to Help You Succeed

    It’s easy to blend into the crowd at work. The majority of workers choose to settle for mediocrity and anonymity; especially if they work in a large or virtual work environment. It’s much easier to go to work every day and contribute just enough to meet your job’s requirements than it is to leave a lasting impression on your coworkers.

    What isn’t easy is standing out.

    By setting personal goals for work, you can intentionally work towards getting noticed which will propel you towards getting your dream job.

    Do not settle for mediocrity and do not settle for anonymity. Dream big and stand out from the crowd. Here are 15 examples of personal goals for work to help you stand out from your coworkers and lead a successful career.

    1. Self-Mastery

    Self-Mastery is all about deepening your awareness of your skills, strengths and weaknesses. Once you identify what makes you unique and what you’re most passionate about, use that awareness to develop your skills even further.

    Use your awareness of your weaknesses to identify areas of improvement. By practising your self-awareness in these areas, you will demonstrate an ability to self regulate your development and growth.

    2. Being Grateful for Where You Are

    Take a moment and reflect on how hard you worked to get where you are today.

    How many times did you apply to your job? How many interviews did you go through? How many hours have you put in?

    You’ve worked hard to get to where you are today. Be grateful of all of the hard work you’ve put in to get you where you are today.

    By practising gratitude, you open yourself up to receive what’s next.

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    3. Staying Excited for What’s Next

    The perfect vibrational stance to be in to be actively working towards your goals is to practice gratitude for your current situation and to feel excitement for what’s coming next.

    Expect better things to come. Anticipate that you will accomplish your goal and that you’re working towards your dream job. Be open to receiving what’s coming your way next.

    4. Celebrating Each Others’ Differences

    As coworkers, we all bring different strengths to a team environment. Introverts bring deep thought to current issues and extroverts do well in busy meetings and discussions. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is an excellent measurement of personality differences and brings an interesting review of your team’s personalities interact with each other.

    If possible, request to have an MBTI done with your coworkers so that you can learn more about your similarities and differences; or recognize the differences in your team’s personalities and appreciate that they each contribute different values to the group.

    5. Using Your Team’s Differences to Your Advantage

    Once you learn more about the different personalities on your team, you can work more strategically with your coworkers. Some coworkers may present as introverts who prefer to take time away to review information before making decisions. Other coworkers may present as extroverts who excel in group discussions and facilitating presentations.

    Once you identify the different strengths of your coworkers, you can plan projects and group work according to each other’s personality strengths.

    6. Managing Conflicts Effectively

    If conflict arises between yourself and another coworker, take time to assess how you’d like to work through the situation rather than reacting in the heat of the moment.

    Request a private meeting with the other coworker and present the facts in an objective manner. Initiate a practical conversation to discuss the issue of conflict and then find a mutually-beneficial solution together.

    Doing so will show your coworkers and your boss you’re capable of dealing with emotionally-sensitive discussions while keeping a cool head.

    7. Becoming a ‘Yes’ Person

    Volunteer for new projects and special assignments. Be the first person to put up your hand.

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    If your boss is looking for someone to step up, be the first to volunteer. It shows you’re engaged and gives you the opportunity to learn new skills.

    8. Saying ‘No’ When Necessary

    This may seem contradictory to the previous point, but this is not!

    If you’re close to burnout or have a lot going on in your personal life, choose to say no to additional work if you must.

    Be aware of your own mental state of wellness. If you’re incapable of taking on more, say no rather than saying yes and being unable to submit impeccable work.

    If necessary, share with your boss privately that you’re not in the right place to take on work but you intend to get back on track and as soon as possible.

    9. Showing Humility

    It’s not possible to be perfect at everything all the time. If you make a mistake, own up to it.

    Let your boss know or coworker know that you made a mistake and you want to correct it. Tell them that you have learned from this experience and you will do things differently going forward.

    Practice humility so that you may demonstrate a willingness to do better.

    10. Modeling Work Life Balance

    Make your own self care a priority so that you’re allocating time out of the office to your exercise, health and nutrition goals.

    Carve out time before or after work to taking care of you. Propose walking meetings during the day or try organizing a group fitness classes at lunch. Invite your coworkers to join you in trying a new yoga class.

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    Show your coworkers that you’re committed to work life balance so that you can show up as your best self while at work.

    11. Under Promise, Over Deliver

    If you commit to finishing a project by a certain time, be certain that you will do what you said you’re going to do when you said you’re going to do it.

    Do not commit to completing a project using an unrealistic time frame. If you’re unable to deliver, you will inevitably harm your reputation and will negatively affect others’ expectations of your abilities.

    Rather than committing to more than you can accomplish, commit to what you’re capable of or slightly less so that you can over deliver on your promises.

    12. Finding Your Own Answers

    Rather than quickly turning to your coworkers or your boss when you have questions, do your best to find your own answers.

    Review company policies, best practices and previous situations. Use critical thinking to determine how to best handle a situation and demonstrate that you’re able to make sound decisions when it’s required.

    After doing your research, present the situation to your boss and share how you would handle the situation. Ask for guidance to see if you’re on the right track. By doing so you’ll demonstrate drive and ambition.

    13. Asking for Help

    If a situation arises that is above your pay-grade and you must ask for help or guidance, do so with humility.

    Respectfully ask your boss or coworkers for their help. Let them know that you are grateful for their assistance and that they’re willing to share their knowledge. Offer to be of assistance to them if it’s needed in the future and repay the favor.

    Here’re some tips for you: How to Ask for Help When You Feel Silly to Do So

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    14. Offering Help

    If you can see a fellow coworker is struggling, offer to help them out. Offering your help will demonstrate your ability to work as a team player.

    If your workplace has hired a new employee, offer to take them under your wing and show them the ropes. Let your boss know that you’d be happy to show them around.

    It will demonstrate your seniority in the workplace and your interest in fostering teamwork and morale.

    15. Taking a Brain Break Regularly

    Take a few moments whenever you can for a mini meditation. In the bathroom, the coffee room, or on the subway on your way to work, take a few deep breaths and center your mind.

    Slow down your heart rate and tune in to your inner self. Remind yourself that work can be stressful but we don’t need to let the stress affect us. Return to this grounded and centered state whenever you feel out of alignment.

    The Bottom Line

    Use this list of personal goals to skyrocket your career path at work. Let your actions speak louder than words.

    Demonstrate to your boss and your coworkers that you don’t intend to settle for mediocrity; you intend to stand out from the crowd and will do so by implementing personal goals and actively working towards your dream job.

    More Tips About Goals Setting

    Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

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