“Early in your career it’s important to learn how to become happy in the work environment and how to be respected for what you do as a young professional.”

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: It’s something that we all aim to earn in our workplaces. Sure, it’s nice to be liked and to be able to make lots of friends. But when it comes to your career, being respected will help you to progress and develop professionally.

Here’s how to gain respect from your colleagues:

1. Do your job and do it well

This might sound obvious, but turning up every day to your job and doing great work will get you noticed for your professional abilities quicker than any other social technique you can employ. There will always be personality clashes in any workplace, but even if your co-workers don’t like you on a personal level – they won’t be able to fault you for your work ethic and skills if you make sure your work is delivered at a consistently high standard. Avoid these common mistakes.

2. Positive attitude 

No matter what the task is that you’re being asked to complete, never respond with ‘that’s not my job’ or refuse to help someone (unless they’re doing something dangerous or illegal, of course). Always appear happy to do whatever assignment you’re given, with a positive demeanour. This will show that you’re happy and willing to work as hard as anyone else in the business.

3. Reliability in the workplace

If your colleagues know they can rely on you, they’re more likely to trust you with special projects, promotions or more responsibility. You can demonstrate how reliable you are by always being on time for meetings and never making people wait for you. Don’t leave work every day at 5pm on-the-dot, and if you’re going to be late or if you need an extension on a deadline, be honest and transparent with your colleagues. Help manage their expectations by telling them when and why you need more time to complete something – it happens to everyone.

4. Listen to your work colleagues

To get a better understanding of concepts that others might know better than you – but also to get to know people better. It will help you find common ground to build relationships upon, and also to identify when others are calm and can be called on for support or stressed and needing help.

5. Help Others

Offering to help other people will definitely show that you are a respectable person. Plus if you’re willing to do some favours for your colleagues, they might be inclined to reciprocate and help you in return when you need it. Rather than always vaguely asking if people would like some help, try anticipating their needs by suggesting specific ways that you can assist – this will show that you’re intuitive of the needs of people around you and that you have an understanding of your broader team’s purpose and importance within the business.

6. Avoid office drama and gossip

This one is simple. Don’t get involved in any office unnecessary bickering or gossip in your workplace. It rarely ends well, so side-step all of the hoopla and focus on building a great reputation for your skill and productivity rather than choosing sides in gossip stories.

7. Be inclusive to your colleagues

You can show that you have real leadership potential if you can encourage a group of people to participate in a team activity. Showing that you can make everyone feel included and comfortable in a group environment will help you to display a real understanding of empathy and interpersonal communication skills. So invite everyone to have lunch together sometime, or lead a brain-storming session and show that you make sure everyone feels involved.

8. Say thank you

This one is so easy you can start doing it right now. Say ‘thank you’. It’s simple. If people feel as though you appreciate them, they will respect you more. Don’t limit your gratitude to times when a workmate helps you out with a project – let them know you appreciate the small things they do that make your day more pleasant.

9. Never gloat

There’s nothing less graceful than a person who wanders the office floor loudly singing their own praises. If you’ve achieved something that you’re really proud, let people know about it by including them in the experience. Try thanking the team that helped you reach your goal, and the compliments and congratulations will undoubtedly start flowing. But if you take to a loudspeaker to tell everyone how great you are, we can’t guarantee that they’ll celebrate you as much as you’re celebrating yourself.

Gain respect in the workplace with these tips:

  • Be gracious and grateful by making sure you accept help when it is offered, and thank people for their assistance and support.
  • Listening is the first step to finding common ground with others and understanding your teammates’ needs.
  • If you can’t do something on time, be upfront about it so that your reputation isn’t damaged.
  • Bragging about your merits and achievements is almost always a bad look.

Give it a go:

Respect needs to be given before it can be received. So start earning the appreciation of those around you by offering your respect to them first. Try sending your colleagues an email every once in a while to let them know that you appreciate their work, or to give positive feedback on any suggestions or ideas they have made to the team.

Article by Alex Malley – www.thenakedceo.com