We are told that to be content in a workplace, we must enjoy our career. This contentment, however, can be somewhat elusive and seem out of our control and can depend on a number of factors such as our own interests, challenges, hours, salary and colleagues. Sure, being “liked” at your workplace makes your day easier and trouble-free, however, being respected is a different matter. Respect is not often not simply handed to you once you step inside the door at a new place of employment or when working with a new team; it often must be earned and it is a two way street
Earning respect is like scaling a mountain, where many different obstacles and challenges confront you. To reach the summit, you need to approach tasks in a professional, safe and appropriate manner and be prepared to adapt to your surroundings and others that you may encounter along the way.
But done right, this will demonstrate your strong work ethic and genuine commitment to both your work and to those around you or with whom you work; which can go a long way in earing respect from your colleagues. It will also serve as a good foundation to assist you through those challenging times at work so that if you do fall, a safety net of support will be provided to help you climb back up.
Whilst there is no official manual on how to gain respect from colleagues, these tips provide some advice and understanding into the process of obtaining and keeping one’s respect in the office.
Trust goes hand in hand with respect at a workplace. If your colleagues know that they can rely on you to complete, perform or participate in tasks; colleagues will have the confidence to trust you with new or difficult projects. Ensure that you are on time for meetings, be honest if you need more time for a project and be transparent with your colleagues.
A welcoming and inviting environment is created when all colleagues demonstrate respect and support towards each other to ensure the safety net is developed. Praising one on efforts and skills encourages colleagues to work harder for the company, creating self-confidence and the reassurance they need for their role. If you need to draw attention to downfall a team member’s work, ensure it is constructive feedback that include some emphasis on what has been done right. Remember the way in which this is delivered can have as much impact as what is actually communicated. Effective and appropriate communication will assist to strengthen your relationships with colleagues and help form that respect.
Offering to help colleagues with various tasks will demonstrate your and collaborative workplace approach and also your desire to pitch in and lend a hand when you are all busy. If you all have a significant number of tasks to complete, it is important to ensure that your employees and colleagues have a complete understanding of the tasks and what is required and that you are all on the same page. By all means, don’t bite off more than you can chew, but if you do have the capacity to help and to lighten someone’s load; this can do wonders for the sense of comradery in the work environment and in cultivating a mutual respect.
Have fun once in while
If everyone is under the pump at work and the environment is stressful, it is important to try to lighten the mood if you can – even by taking a short breather.
Whilst everyone may feel like every minute is precious, often a quick refuelling break of even 15 minutes, having a coffee and talking with colleagues about non-work related topics such as hobbies, weekend plans or sporting events can be beneficial. Demonstrate that you are only human and that your colleagues can feel comfortable and confident around you.
Communication – a vital and often undervalued tool in the workplace. If you communicate effectively and succinctly with those to whom the information is relevant; communication can be a key aspect in developing respect. Employees and colleagues value being kept up to date with information and progress; and also being included, where appropriate, about decision making processes or consulting with them about their opinion and experiences. An open style of communication will encourage openness in return and foster a sense of respectful collaboration within the workplace.
Respect must be shown for it to be received. Give positive feedback to your colleagues and form a strong work relationship to demonstrate your support and gratitude. Like scaling a mountain, earning respect takes time and a planned approach. If, however, you follow these five tips, you’ll reach the summit – but remember, often half the fun is getting there and it is not often where we go, but the way we go about getting there that is important!