How to Earn Respect at Work


Part of achieving career satisfaction is the feeling that you’ve earned the respect of your co-workers and manager. Getting that respect is about more than projecting self-confidence. It’s knowing that people value and respect those that they trust. The question is, what specific behaviors and attitudes facilitate trust and ultimately earn the respect of those we work with?

Listen to Understand
The term “active listening” may be overused, but building trust and ultimately respect means that you listen to understand, not just to reply.  By listening actively we learn about people’s individual drivers, and consequently, how best to position information to maximize understanding and buy-in.

Show Humility
A little self-deprecation goes a long way. There’s nothing wrong, for example, with admitting to a mistake and speaking about how you learned from it. Humility, coupled with a natural self-assurance, creates respect.

When Will Smith talks about his work ethic, he says the following, “You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me…[but] you’re not going to outwork me. The guy who is willing to hustle the most is going to be the guy that gets the loose ball.” Make a consistent effort to deliver, even under tight timelines, or with competing priorities. It seems like such a simple concept, but those who gain respect and get promoted have a formidable work ethic.

Be Professional
Be professional in all aspects of your role. Demonstrate patience with others, understanding that people learn tasks at different speeds. Treat others with respect. Enter every conversation believing that each role has value and contributes to the overall goals of the organization.

Avoid Office Politics
A certain amount of office politics is to be expected with any job. But try to avoid office gossip. If you repeat something that you’ve heard, you gain a reputation for not being trustworthy and this limits your ability to earn respect.

Accept Constructive Feedback
Accept feedback from coworkers and managers. Internalize the feedback and grow from it. Demonstrate that you’re listening and avoid getting defensive.

Read: To learn how to accept constructive feedback gracefully, read this blog.

Be Assertive
If you feel strongly about something, whether it’s reworking an inefficient process, or wanting to take the lead on a project, there’s nothing wrong with being assertive. It’s when we stray into an aggressive communication style that we risk losing people. Being assertive, has at its root, an inherent respect for others and their points of view. 

Read this article from the Mayo Clinic to learn how to communicate assertively.

Facilitate Success in Others
Help others succeed. Whether it’s pitching in on a project, mentoring, or giving credit where it’s due, facilitating success in others fosters respect.

Key Takeaways
To earn the respect of others at work, listen to understand and be as professional as possible. Don’t repeat office gossip, and try to communicate in an assertive, but respectful fashion. Be open to constructive feedback and demonstrate humility. And at the end of it all, have a formidable work ethic. This, combined with the other tips above, will help you get the respect of your colleagues, manager and senior leadership.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.

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