How to earn and maintain respect in the workplace

One thing that gives leaders their platform, status and influence is respect. Not only is it a feeling or a value, but also a mind-set, an attitude and a character.

With origins from the Latin word ‘respectus’, referring to the action of looking back with consideration and regard, respect encompasses how people perceive you, your values and how it impacts them. It also embodies how you distinguish and hold yourself.

Respect in the workplace is crucial to who you are as a leader – It can make or break your relationships with stakeholders, your role in the business and your position in the industry.

There are many ways respect can be cultivated, so we’ve broken down the word to give you an idea of how you can embody it.

Reinforce your vision and values consistently.

Respect can be correlated to the notion that you represent a certain set of morals – and that you stick to them no matter the situation. What pops into the head of your employees when your name is mentioned, when you’re in the office or when they speak about you?

Consistently reinforce your values through the way you make decisions, how you communicate them and the way you interact with your employees. When you stand by something, you give others the chance to stand by it with you.

Engage with opportunities and challenges.

When you proactively engage with opportunities and challenges, in both seeking and responding to them, you facilitate respect, as it demonstrates responsibility, initiative and accountability. This is also relevant to giving credit where credit is due and not being afraid to admit to mistakes.

Seek out support.

An exceptional leader knows success is about teamwork, and that they can’t do everything on their own. Seeking support and reinforcement, and effective delegation, shows emotional intelligenceand effective communication to your team.

Practice what you preach.

Its simple – if you don’t practice what you preach, why should anyone else? If you follow your own advice and lead by example, there won’t be any room for members of your workplace to doubt you. When you share a vision and make it a reality, it’ll get noticed and appreciated.

Empower your team, both professionally and personally.

You’ll earn respect from team members when you recognise and facilitate their value, as employees and individuals. People thrive on having a purpose, direction and motivation. If you encourage self-esteem and growth in your workplace, your team will highly regard you.

Commit yourself to growth and improvement.

Making an effort to grow, learn and constantly improve, demonstrates that you’re not afraid of change and always looking to maximise your strengthens and develop your weaknesses. Those are extremely respectable qualities, which in turn will generate admiration and support from your team.

Treat all team members and the workplace as a reflection of you.

The age-old saying ‘treat others the way you want to be treated’ will always be relevant and a continuous foundation for respect. Being polite and gracious to your team members, and extending that consideration to the workplace environment, is both professional and personable.

It is imperative to remember that respect cannot be forced, and in order to truly earn and maintain it in your business, your actions must speak louder than your words. It all comes down to how you facilitate respect through your behaviour, and putting the actions from above into practice.

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