Want to Gain Respect at Work…Try These 8 Communication Tips

CommunicationDo your co-workers, employees and boss listen when you offer an idea?

Do they ask for your advice, seek out your opinion, and implement your ideas?

If you feel you would like more respect at work follow these tips:

1. Speak Less, it is more Effective

Imagine a room where everyone is talking over one another, except for the one silent person who is

just taking it all in. When that one person speaks, the entire room goes silent and everyone listens.

That person could be you. It takes a great deal of self-restraint to stay out of the arguing and save

your opinion for the right moment, however when you do that, others will see you as someone who

carefully considers the issues and only contributes valuable suggestions to the conversation.

2. Practice Actively Listen When Others are Speaking

Do not be the rude person checking email when someone else is presenting or leading a discussion.

Pay attention with your eyes, your ears, your heart and your mind. If necessary, even consider taking

some notes. Ask clarifying questions to show you were respectfully paying attention. Lead by example

and others will pay you the same respect.

3. Invite Others to Share Their Opinion During Discussions

Even if you already know what you want to do, take the time to invite the opinion of others in your

organization. Ultimately you can share your thoughts and together you can create an action plan.

When people are included in the process, you will get more buy-in.

4. Acknowledge Credit Often

Be sure to make a concerted effort to share the credit for the ideas that other people have offered.

This demonstrates your team playing abilities and enhances your relationships within the group. If

your contributions are sound, it will be difficult for others to ignore your input.

5. Practice When to Lead and When to Follow

Micromanagement is rarely effective, it often causes others to tune you out and consider you arrogant

and controlling. As a result you will have trouble engendering support when you seek it. When you

support the projects of others, they will be more likely to align with you when you take the lead.

6. Become an Expert in Your Area & Respect the Expertise of Others

Seek out classes, webinars, and seminars, read books in topics relating to your specialty and research

innovations. If you pursue all these avenues you will become an expert in your area of work. As

you increase your knowledge base, your confidence and competence will also grow. People tend to

gravitate towards those viewed as experts. Respect the strengths of your co-workers and leverage

everyone’s skills to the advantage of the team. A high performance team relies on the strengths of all

its members and respects those valuable contributions as that is how the common goals are achieved.

7. Be Confident, but Humble

Humility is one of the great lessons of life. You can always get better, learn more, and discover new

approaches. You can feel good when constantly trying to improve yourself; however do always keep

an open mind about that growth and improvement. Search out others from whom you can learn and

show gratitude to them for their shared expertise and experience.

8. Pick Your Battles

It sometimes appears that few people have any emotional intelligence. Stay above the fray and act

like an adult rather than a kid in the school yard. Be the person to resolve conflict and take the high

road. It is more important to struggle for things essential to the achievement of desired results vs.

issues that simply indulge your ego. Use these criteria as a litmus test for choosing your work battles.

We all have moments of frustration at work, when we feel unappreciated and ignored; when we know

there is a better way of doing something but see, to lack the ability to make it a reality.

If you employ these 8 tips you will be well on your way to gaining the respect you need to influence


About Sandy Chernoff

Sandy Chernoff, RDH, B.Sc., is a soft skills consultant who has been presenting customized interactive workshops since 1991 to audiences in Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Powell River, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montréal, and New York City. Her passion to solve people problems has brought her clients less conflict, improved productivity and an increased happiness factor in the workplace.

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