10 Positive Ways to Earn a Coworker's Respect
Respect in the workplace is one of the most important determinants of worker engagement, satisfaction and productivity. Respectful colleagues treat each other with courtesy, kindness and mutual regard. Employees can contribute to a positive working environment by acting in ways that show they respect themselves and others as valued members of a team with shared goals.
Do Your Job Well
Highly competent workers who focus on their jobs and consistently strive for excellence engender respect. They earn good reputations by demonstrating punctuality, dependability, timeliness and personal accountability. By deftly performing all the duties outlined in your job description, you prove that you are a trustworthy, reliable colleague and an asset to the organization.
Offer Sincere Compliments
Timely and sincere compliments build rapport and goodwill in the workplace. Everyone likes to be acknowledged for their hard work and achievements. Coming up with positive things to say about coworkers shows that you're a team player who shares credit. Never take credit for the work of others, or you will lose respect in their eyes.
Go the Extra Mile
Don't wait to be asked to help out if you see team members struggling with a task, but ask if your help is wanted before jumping in and taking over. Volunteer to serve on committees and demonstrate leadership by agreeing to lead new initiatives. Offer fresh ideas and perspectives.
Be Happy and Upbeat
Popular employees are fun to be around. They have a good sense of humor and can laugh at themselves. A positive attitude and optimistic outlook can lift up others when they’re feeling down or discouraged. You’re likely to be highly regarded in the workplace if you’re known for your cheerful, but genuine, personality.
Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence
Employees with emotional intelligence are sensitive to the opinions, suggestions, ideas and feelings of their bosses and coworkers. Indeed Career Guide recommends using active listening skills and attentive body language to show genuine interest in others. When you demonstrate that you genuinely care about other people, your actions are likely to be reciprocated.
Observe Office Etiquette
Ivy Exec suggests that common courtesy goes a long way toward building positive relationships in the workplace. Politeness is not old-school. Saying "thank you" and "you're welcome" shows good manners. Don't be that person who leaves a big mess in the lunchroom or never takes a turn bringing treats to the office on special occasions.
One of the best ways of earning respect is to treat others with respect even if you think differently or your personalities clash. Entrepreneur points out that positions change rapidly in the corporate world, and the person you supervise today may someday be your boss. If you treat everyone the way they expect to be treated, you are more apt to be extended that same consideration.
Manage Your Emotions
Colleagues may lose respect for you if your emotions are unpredictable and unregulated. Unexplained emotional outbursts or bouts of moodiness are off-putting; they are signs of a toxic coworker. Losing your temper and raising your voice can result in a complaint to management about your disrespectful behavior. Work at being patient, understanding, calm and professional at all times.
Do your part to create an inclusive office culture where everyone feels welcome, appreciated and safe sharing differing perspectives. Be a positive role model by embracing all forms of diversity. Intervene if you observe an office bully putting down an intimidated coworker. Insist that you and others are treated respectfully.
Stay Out of Office Drama
Reader's Digest stresses that rumor-mongering and nasty gossip creates a hostile environment that can unjustly damage reputations and derail careers. Avoid office gossip if you can and change the subject if you're approached with the latest news about an office affair. Coworkers will respect you if they can count on you to maintain confidentiality, mind your own business, and set appropriate boundaries at work.
Mary Dowd holds a doctorate in educational leadership and a master’s in counseling and student affairs from Minnesota State Mankato. Helping students succeed has been her passion while serving in many areas of student affairs and adjunct teaching. Currently she is a dean of students at a large, public university. Dr. Dpwd’s writing experience includes published research, training materials and hundreds of practical online articles.