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How to Get Respect From Your Co-Workers

by Ellie Williams

Having the respect of your co-workers is important to your job success and fulfillment. Without it, you will encounter difficulty getting your ideas heard and moving up within the ranks. You’ll also likely be unhappy, which can hinder your job performance and stifle your growth. To earn the respect of your colleagues, focus on the image you present and how you relate to them.

Keep Your Word

If you consistently make promises you don’t keep, you’ll earn a reputation for being untrustworthy. Colleagues might think you’re too scatterbrained or disorganized to handle responsibility. Even worse, they may think you lack consideration and don’t take the needs of your co-workers seriously. Think twice before offering to help or taking on new projects. Only say yes to something if you know have the time and resources to complete it. If you don’t, your colleagues will respect you more if you say no and explain why than if you fail to follow through.

Embody Professionalism

Put aside your ego and your personal concerns when you walk into work every day. Focus on teamwork and the goals of the company. Don’t snap at or lose patience with associates, clients or customers, and don’t condescend to others. Take time to actively listen when your colleagues speak to you and give serious consideration to their ideas and proposals. You’ll make them feel like valued members of the team, a favor they’ll likely return.

Demonstrate Competence

People respect workers with proven expertise and knowledge. Keep learning and refining your abilities, while consistently bringing your “A" game. Don’t be a know-it-all or offer unwanted advice, but do share your knowledge and provide assistance or advice when you can, and when it is needed. If you’re ever tempted to cut corners or let a deadline slide, keep in mind that your colleagues will remember the times when you slacked off. Give every assignment or project your best effort, even minor tasks.

Stand Up for Yourself

Fair or not, people often treat us the way we expect to be treated. If you hesitate to speak up during meetings or back down easily, people might not take you seriously. They may think they can dismiss your contributions or suggestions, take advantage of you or otherwise disregard you. That’s why it’s important to convey confidence and assertiveness from the moment you start a new job. Make direct eye contact and greet colleagues with a smile. Make a point of chiming in early during meetings. If you don’t have input to offer, ask questions. If people dismiss your ideas or interrupt you, politely but firmly say, “Excuse me, but I wasn’t finished.”

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