Yes, respect is what we want. But it can be elusive in the workplace. Here are a few suggestions for you to attain more respect in your work life. Of course, things that work in our work environment often work in the rest of our life too.
Always be polite. People that are full of bluster usually inspire a lack of respect. There is a reason our mothers taught us to be polite. Another thing they taught us is to dress for the occasion. Do dress up slightly better than your colleagues. Even in this casual world, dressing well will garner respect.
Remember names and use them. It is a sign of respect and will make others feel an affinity towards you. If you think it is appropriate, also use titles. If you do not know the person well, this conveys respect and will set a good tone.
Simply being thoughtful and friendly goes a long way. Let people save face if you can. Blame something intangible. Notice when others do well and share it. Always share credit. A thank you or you are welcome goes a long way in telling others they are worthy of respect.
Speak up and ask questions. Make your voice heard. Often, the question you are asking is one many others would love to know the answer to. Do not just let yourself be lead without knowing all the facts. Admit when you don’t know. Being willing to admit and learn will inspire respect. Always give good feedback but always be constructive.
Be the Master of your calendar. It is always acceptable to tell someone I can’t help you now, but can I see you in an hour? Make sure to keep that promise. Have colleagues schedule the time they need on a shared calendar. Set default setting to private so your unavailable time blocks will only be seen as unavailable. Have these blocks of time be 15 minutes. Anyone can schedule longer, but 15 minutes is usually enough time.
Hopefully, someone has taught you all of these at one time or another in your life, but sometimes we forget. Just remember the most important things. Be polite but speak up. Be the Master of your time. Dress for success. Sometimes though, our best efforts do not help. Be prepared to move on; that for sure will get you some respect from those who have stayed behind.
KATHLEEN WEAVER ZECH AND DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO