How should you show respect to others in the workplace?

Respect for subordinates: why you need it, and how to increase your authority

It is no secret that respect at work is of great importance for any professional. Especially for a manager. If you compare the company with the engine of the car, which works to achieve success, respect is the oil that helps it not to stop. When it runs out or lacks it, parts of the engine begin to run out of steam. At that point, everything can break down and the car itself can stop. The business owner should be interested in doing the opposite. How to build a solid team based on respect, earn credibility, we will tell in this article.

Why worry about employee respect?

Respect is closely tied to another vital factor on which a company’s success depends. It’s employee engagement. If it’s high, employee turnover is minimal, efficiency increases, and profits rise.

Companies with engaged employees earn, on average, twice as much as their competitors.

A major factor in employee engagement is their respect for the company’s leadership.

How can respect for superiors benefit the success of a company?

In this situation, employees are more likely to give their best at work. Motivation to work appears if you feel respect for the person who requires you to perform your duties. Employees who respect their supervisors are willing to do whatever is asked of them. This is also how we behave when family or friends call on us.

Employees who respect their supervisors are more loyal to company rules. Rules are made to be broken. This is how many people think of the routines set forth by the organization’s internal policies. If employees respect the company and its management, they are more likely to begin to adhere to the demands that are placed on them.

The bond between employee and management inevitably wears thin in an environment where staff do not respect their immediate supervisor. This has a negative effect on attitudes toward one’s responsibilities, leading to moral problems on the team.

Lack of respect for supervisors can lead to high turnover rates. In the reverse situation it is possible to retain the most talented, to achieve a more optimal atmosphere in the team.

Respect is closely tied to loyalty. When employees respect their managers, they support the values and mission of the company, helping to achieve its goals.

How do you know if employees respect you?

If you have any doubts about this, here are some things to look out for first.

  1. Communication. Whether employees are talking to you. If you notice any signs of disrespect, it’s time to take a step back and reconsider the relationship.
  2. Warning. Are your employees listening to what you are saying? Are they giving you their full attention? How do they respond to your comments or constructive criticism?
  3. Openness. The more open your subordinates are with you, the better. See if employees report problems that arise. If they’re trying to hide them, you can’t count on loyalty.
  4. Sincerity. Chances are employees may tell you one thing to your face, but something completely different behind your back. Any sign of insincerity could mean you are not respected.
  5. Body Language. Pay attention to the most obvious signs. Do subordinates make eye contact with you during conversations? Do they behave strangely as soon as they start talking to you?
  6. Obedience. This is the easiest way to find out if employees respect you. How they respond to assignments is the best test.

Ways to earn employees’ respect

Too many managers take their authority for granted. They believe that employees should respect them by obeying the existing hierarchy.

The problem is that we live in a world where more and more people have trust issues. You need to know what you can do to earn the respect of the team.

Taking care of people.

59% of small business employees say they respect their employer for providing a pleasant work environment so they can perform their duties effectively.

You should start with personal questions. Take an interest in how things are going, and help with difficult work tasks. It’s easier to earn respect when employees feel that their manager cares about their well-being. This approach will help improve overall business performance.


Employees need to see “proof of performance” before they can trust and respect their employers.

Leaders need to set the tone, to form a standard of respect.

Acknowledging their mistakes.

The employer position involves taking risks, which inevitably leads to mistakes. This is normal. It’s important not to be afraid to admit them.

One common myth that was cultivated about 20 years ago was that subordinates should not know about their management’s mistakes.

That no longer works today. If you have made a mistake, have the courage to admit it.

Take an interest in people

If you want to earn the respect of your employees, you need to learn to take an interest in their lives. It is difficult to earn trust if you talk only about yourself all the time.

Take the time to understand what your employees need, understand their values.

Don’t be arrogant with your subordinates, showing at every opportunity who’s in charge. If you’re serious about earning respect, make sure you communicate with them as equals.

25 tips on how to earn respect at work

While an employee is valued at work primarily for professionalism, credibility among colleagues is important. On the relationship with them depends the comfort in the workplace and the general emotional background.

Let’s tell you how to gain respect at work if you are an ordinary employee and how to act if you are a manager.

Watch your appearance

Professionalism is good, but it is difficult to deal with an unkempt specialist. Therefore, the first thing you should do to obtain the respect of your colleagues is to watch your appearance. If the company has a dress code, follow it, but add your own flair, so as not to get lost among the uniform.

Remember names

For each person’s own name is the best sound. Use this psychological trick – from the first day try to remember the names of new colleagues and address them by them. This will show your respect and interest, so you will quickly achieve not only respect, but also sympathy on their part.

Remember about etiquette

Be polite: wish a good morning, apologize for any inconvenience, say goodbye before you leave, etc. Don’t forget to congratulate on holidays, even if you don’t consider a particular date important yourself. Such behavior will help create a positive image, and you will quickly fit in with the team.

Offer to help.

Don’t be pushy, but willingly offer help to new colleagues. It could be:

professional – when you share your knowledge;

Psychological – when you support a colleague with life problems.

It’s very important to strike a balance here, to earn authority, but at the same time not to become a vest for tears and a free ambulance.

Work with enthusiasm

If those around you can see that you are working with passion and desire, this atmosphere will be passed down the chain. This attitude to work is contagious, so very soon colleagues will reach out to you. In this case, it is not only the inspiration but also the result that matters. Show that work done with pleasure leads to a good outcome.

Rejoice in the successes of your colleagues

Envy is a destructive feeling that prevents self-actualization. Show that you rejoice in the success of others and that teamwork is important to you. Such behavior is characteristic of a mature person who deserves respect, so you can count on the respect of your colleagues. Be happy about any successes: congratulate the employee on the successful completion of a project, the closing of a lucrative deal, a successful presentation at a conference, etc.

Take Criticism Relax

Everyone makes mistakes, and you should take it kindly when someone points them out. A calm reaction and even gratitude for the remark will help to deserve respect more than aggression in response to a demonstration of error. Another important nuance – it is not necessary to start an argument about it. If you think you are right, do it your way, and if there really is a mistake, eliminate it. In any case, there is no need to react aggressively to the comments of colleagues and provoke conflict.

Don’t Panic

Even if you don’t know something or the task can’t be solved from the first time, don’t panic. Showing your excitement, you show uncertainty and loss of control over the situation, even if it is a short-term reaction. So try to keep your cool even in difficult moments, it will strengthen your professional reputation and help you earn the respect of your colleagues.

Don’t think you are smarter than others.

Even if you are sure you know more than many employees, there is no need to demonstrate it openly, so as not to provoke a negative attitude. Don’t lecture anyone:

On a personal level – if a colleague is complaining about his life circumstances, it is better to support him gently than to teach him life in a mentoring tone;

in the professional sphere do not teach anybody to work; give advice in the most correct manner, so as not to hurt the self-esteem of your colleagues.

Don’t talk too much.

It is better to create a small deficit of your own presence than to be overly intrusive. In this case, authority will be higher and words will have more value, you can create the image of an expert who talks rarely, but only on the merits.

At the same time do not play the silent game all the time either, be friendly, but a little verbose.

Filter your advice

Don’t allow anyone to instruct you – this is especially true for newcomers who are trying to join a large team. If they notice that you listen to all the advice, and, moreover, try to take into account each of them, the authority will be inevitably lost. So keep a certain distance, showing that you are willing to obey only the leadership, and comments from all the rest are accepted only as a good advice, leaving the right to decide whether to follow them or not.

Do not try to please everyone at once

First of all, you need to accept that this is impossible – everyone has their own criteria about what should be the ideal colleague. Next it is important to understand that trying to please everyone can be regarded as ingratiation and self-doubt.

To earn respect keep your own individuality and value yourself. At the same time, remember to observe etiquette and perform your professional obligations well.

Do not engage in gossip.

Never collect rumors to spread in the company. Sure, it will give you topics for dialogues with new colleagues, but it will backfire on you later on – gossipers are not liked anywhere and respect for you will be lost.

On the other hand, you may notice that colleagues talk about you behind your back, distorting the real information. In such a situation, it is important to remain calm – not to react to such conversations, thereby not giving food for new ones. Even if you are uncomfortable with such discussions, do not forget that gossip shows that your colleagues are interested in you.

Participate in collective events

Every organization may have company parties, birthday parties and other events. Don’t ignore them because people become more relaxed in an informal setting and you can get to know your colleagues better. In addition, shared memories or experiences bring people together, you will be more quickly respected if, for example, you drove home a colleague who had too much to drink, or delicately failed to notice the apparent attention of some employees to each other.

Respect others’ personal time and space

Be punctual, don’t be late for meetings and other important events. And if you can’t make it on time, give advance notice of the situation so your colleagues can decide whether to wait or start without you.

It is extremely important to respect other people’s personal space: do not take their things without permission, do not ask tactless questions. Respect for your colleagues will allow you to earn the same treatment for yourself.

Be Positive.

Personal problems and professional difficulties occur to everyone, but you should not share a negative mood at work. No one wants to deal with those who are constantly dissatisfied with everything, so the constantly gloomy face may cause loneliness in the team.

Try to be positive and share a good mood so that colleagues have the desire to communicate. Then they will begin to respect you.

Do not give in to provocations.

In any company, there are people who enjoy making a scandal out of nothing, while remaining uninvolved. This behavior is called passive-aggressive and creates serious problems for those around you.

For example, you have a dialogue with a colleague whom you are trying to convince of something, giving reasoned arguments. But he is not in contact – constantly asking back, pretending not to understand, in general, in every way complicates the conversation. In this case, it is extremely important to remain calm, because if you snap, you will find yourself at fault, because the interlocutor was just clarifying incomprehensible to him points.

In such a situation, it is almost impossible to prove that you were provoked, so learn to keep your composure in any situation.


Team actions allow for better results, if everyone faithfully performs his part of the work, rooting for the common cause. Collaborate with your colleagues, express your point of view and suggestions for the way forward. Don’t challenge decisions, even if you don’t agree with them, if they are supported by the majority. Unnecessary dispute takes time and energy, and the opinion of the majority is an argument for the choice of further action.

Think strategically.

Do not forget that the project you’re working on now is not the last. And it’s not just the result that matters, but also the process of achieving it. Think in terms of long-term goals – if you show good results, it will reflect positively on your future prospects.

How to earn respect if you are a manager

If you’ve been appointed a new boss, you should be aware that your performance depends on how you build the right relationship with the team.

Loyalty to a supervisor is:

infrequent personnel changes;

a positive atmosphere in the team.

Here are tips from our experts on how a manager can earn the respect of employees.

Maintain objectivity

The work team involves the interaction of people with different temperaments, characters and habits. To get respect from them, it is important to judge employees solely from a professional point of view, not focusing on their lifestyle and personal life.

In addition, when a conflict arises, it is important to listen to all sides and focus solely on facts, not personal emotions and sympathies, when making a decision.

Criticize the mistake, not the employee

Everyone has mistakes and they are punished differently, depending on the consequences. But a leader who is respected criticizes only the mistake itself and does not get personal, for example, at a meeting speaks about the problem itself, without naming the person who caused it. This is wise, because a public outburst stresses the employee and negatively affects his or her performance. Unless you plan to fire him or her after a mistake is made, you shouldn’t ruin your relationship with him or her.

Practice a neutral attitude toward employees

Management that is respected does not single out favorites and treats all team members equally, focusing solely on their professional skills. To gain credibility with employees, maintain a neutral attitude with them by maintaining the necessary distance. And if you have a high level of empathy and you know how to communicate with each of them to set the mood for work and improve the mood, you will be not only respected but also loved.

Control Your Emotions

How you show character in the workplace determines the overall work environment. If you wake up in a bad mood or have a problem with your business, you don’t need to take your mood out on your subordinates.

Being able to control your emotions and distinguish between your personal mood and your work mood is characteristic of a manager who is respected.

To learn this you may have to learn: to use certain breathing practices, to take a pause in the conversation, to understand the situation to the end before making a decision.

Don’t give in to manipulation.

It is possible that employees may attempt to manipulate the manager, especially if he is a newcomer to the team. This is a kind of strength test and at the same time an attempt to achieve personal goals.

To prevent this from happening, avoid flattery, fawning, and being wary of attempts to earn your approval by denigrating a colleague. Such games should be stopped immediately, to show the team that they will not reach their goal. In order to do this, it is important to be able to firmly refuse and point out to the employee his or her place.

Do not criticize in public.

If you criticize in private, you will accomplish two things at once:

Maintain the respect and goodwill of the wronged employee, who will be grateful for maintaining a professional reputation;

You will prevent unnecessary talk about your methods of work from spreading.

Personal qualities that will help to gain respect

According to research by American psychologist Jeffrey James, there are 6 qualities that will help to earn respect in the team:

sincerity – hypocrisy will immediately make you a suspicious person, with whom you must be wary;

Curiosity – if you are really interested in what you are told, the interlocutor feels it;

Ability to keep secrets – when your colleagues will understand that they can safely confide in you, you will immediately raise your credibility in their eyes;

Expertise – people always respect knowledge, so it is important to improve continuously;

Readiness to help others – if you are willing to help others achieve their goals, your colleagues will appreciate it;

Setting personal boundaries – no one respects weaklings who can’t keep their distance. If you are given an impossible task, explore all your options and make a promise to do your best, but don’t say you’ll solve it. If you see that someone is too dependent on you, gently wean them off of it by clearly defining how much support you are willing to give. The tighter you set personal boundaries, the more authority you have.

Thus, in order to earn respect in a team, you must first and foremost respect the people with whom you do business together.

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