Diversity is no longer constrained to physical
attributes, like race, gender and religion. It also
encompasses differences in work style,
generational differences and
personalities. Workplace diversity is important.
It increases the talent pool and brings new
ideas, perspectives and skills to your
workforce. Put simply, greater diversity means
greater business vibrancy, and you must
ensure you the stress the importance of respect
in the workplace to reflect this.
People don’t always see eye-to-eye, and there
are many things colleagues might disagree
over at work. The correct order to carry out a
project, the best way to solve a problem or a
difference in work style could all be areas your
employees often clash over. After all, everyone
has a different perspective and outlook on how
a project will progress. However, it’s important
that your employees understand that, while
discussion is important, you must be
respectful, professional and pleasant while at
Encouraging mutual respect will help to:
REDUCE WORKPLACE STRESS, CONFLICT AND
PROBLEMS. An increase in workplace respect will help to
improve communication between colleagues, increase
teamwork and reduce stress as peace in the workplace soars.
INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY, KNOWLEDGE AND
UNDERSTANDING. As mutual understanding and
respect increase, the exchange of ideas will rise which will
increase company knowledge and innovation. Reducing the
amount of pettiness and workplace politics will also assist in
increasing productivity. The goal will shift from one-upping
a colleague to focusing on the company as a whole.
Additionally, your company will experience a more positive
culture and you will notice an increase in employee
satisfaction and a decrease in turnover. Respect in the
workplace is vital, and it is not solely the responsibility of
Sure, on television or in the movies, it's always the rogue
cop or the office worker who pushes the limits who wins the
rewards and praise. In real life, it's the person who does
what they are supposed to do. This is especially important if
you're the boss or work in a management role.
The boss who slacks off from working, comes in late, leaves
early, and spends more time shopping online than working,
won't engender respect from the coworkers. While the effect
of rule-following isn't as strong among peers, it still plays a
critical role. People don't respect people who don't respect
This is especially true in a workplace where most employees
do follow the rules. After all, they were put in place for a
reason. Whether to create workplace harmony or to fairly
and ethically deal with employees, workplace rules most
often are carefully thought out.
Sure, on television or in the movies, it's always the rogue cop or
the office worker who pushes the limits who wins the rewards
and praise. In real life, it's the person who does what they are
supposed to do. This is especially important if you're the boss or
work in a management role.
The boss who slacks off from working, comes in late, leaves early,
and spends more time shopping online than working, won't
engender respect from the coworkers. While the effect of rule-
following isn't as strong among peers, it still plays a critical role.
People don't respect people who don't respect the rules.
This is especially true in a workplace where most employees do
follow the rules. After all, they were put in place for a reason.
Whether to create workplace harmony or to fairly and ethically
deal with employees, workplace rules most often are carefully
This is one area where the television shows get it right—that
cop may break all of the rules, but he certainly puts in the
hours. Now, working hard doesn't mean you need to work
80 hours a week, but it does mean that you need to work
when you're supposed to work.
If you're an exempt employee, you'll probably need to put in
a bit more time than the office norm. If you're a non-exempt
employee, make sure that you clear all overtime with your
boss before working it. You don't get respect by working off
the clock or by surprising your boss with your time card.
Working hard also means that you need to spend your work
time on work. You won't earn the status of a respected
employee if you are viewed by others as a person who steals
time from your employer.
You may think that the person with the most respect is the one
standing at the head of the conference table giving the
presentation, but that's not always the case. If you feel as if you
always need to talk, you're not likely the most respected person in
People gain respect by actually listening to the ideas of others.
This doesn't mean that you can't share your ideas, but it does
mean that you need to pay attention to what others are saying.
Remember, you were hired to do your job, and other employees
were hired to do theirs. That may seem like a super basic
statement, but, in practical terms, it means that other people are
experts on tasks outside of your expertise. So, listen to what they
have to say about their area of expertise.
Recognize that, in listening to your coworkers, you treat them
with respect. This respect engenders respect for you and what you
have to say.
When the accounts payable person tells you
that it will take three days to get the supplier's
check cut, don't assume that it's because she's
lazy. She may be lazy, but she probably also
needs to follow required processes and
procedures that restrict her ability to respond
to your timeliness requirements.
Just because you don't understand why or
when something happens doesn't mean that a
valid reason doesn't exist.
You're not perfect. No one is. You will make
mistakes. If you want respect, you need to admit
your mistakes. Practice this statement, “I'm sorry.
What can I do to fix it?”
The last part is critical in many situations—
otherwise, the apology is just an empty statement.
If you're the boss, you take the blame for the team's
failures as well as your own. If you're an
individual contributor, you need to take the blame
for your own missteps. A mistake isn't a career
ender. Not admitting a mistake can become a
Having people respect you isn't dependent on people
thinking that you're right all of the time. It's about people
trusting you and appreciating what you have to say. Just
like you need to take your lumps when you make a mistake,
you need to listen to what people have to say about you.
Your boss thinks your marketing plan stinks? Well, ask her
why and carefully consider what she has to say. Your direct
report thinks that your marketing plan stinks? Well, ask her
why and carefully consider what she has to say.
Those last two lines weren't an accidental repeat of the
preceding lines. Whether the criticism comes from above or
below you must carefully consider what the person had to
say. Go ahead and ask questions. They may be right. They
may be dead wrong, but you won't know unless you
The above is not a suggestion to let people walk all
over you. You can carefully consider criticism and say,
“Jane, I heard what you said about the marketing plan
not hitting the right target, but I disagree. I believe that
the market research shows that blah, blah, blah.”
If someone criticizes your personal appearance, family
status, race, gender, whatever, you can certainly call
them on it. “I'm sorry, the fact that I look young has
what to do with this?” Standing up for yourself is
critical to earning respect from coworkers and bosses.
On the other side, though, don't go looking for offense
where no offense is intended. If you get upset about
every little comment anyone makes, you'll look like a
whiner. Some things, you just need to let them go.
Think about who you respect the most. Is
it someone who pushed people under the bus right
and left on her way to the top? Probably not. (And
if it is, please consider getting therapy.) Instead,
you undoubtedly respect someone who was kind
So, if you want others to respect you, try doing the
same. Take time to mentor. Don't get angry when
your direct reports, peers, or bosses make
mistakes. Just help them get the job done and done
right. When you lift up those around you, you all
Bring great energy and passion to your work. Don’t
think of your position as a job, think of it as a mission,
an opportunity to transform and support people who
support and transform others. The result of your
passion is a better world/company/experience for
all. If you continuously demonstrate that making a
difference in the lives of others is important and
meaningful to you you’ll go far.
The key is to model the above behaviors consistently,
this isn’t a “one and done” formula. Your values and
your efforts will be recognized in your organization
and by your boss. Remember, you can’t make someone
respect you. You can make consistent effort to earn
respect and at the end of the day, the person whose
respect you need the most, is your own.
Be a continuous learner. Be committed to
growing and stretching into new definitions of
yourself and your capabilities. Accept feedback
as an opportunity to grow, and then implement
the learning you have received. Get excited
about what you could do and become with
new skills that you take action to cultivate.
You are here to make a difference, to be of
service to all you interact with, both inside and
outside of your company . Be proactive, take
initiative, bring solutions and never wait for
someone to tell you what to do – anticipate and
make a difference. Add value far beyond the
scope of what you are paid for. The result?
You’ll be a valued tribe member and get
promoted. Again and again.
Make time to reflect on yourself, the clients,
the company so that you learn how to improve
and serve others best. Identify behaviors you
want to shift and seek the support you need. If
things aren’t going as you want, look into how
you created the breakdown. Then fix it.
Lessons are when we learn once. Mistakes are
when we continuously repeat the same
blunder. Avoid this at all costs.
Make your word your bond. Honor
confidentiality. Keep your commitments,
communicate in advance if you are going to be
late and always be a reliable trusted team
member. Ensure that your boss doesn’t need to
check in on you by consistently delivering on
time and per your commitment. Walk your
walk and talk your talk. Focus on details and
deliver accurate work.
Communication ensures alignment and
connection. Any challenge can be resolved with
authentic heart-felt communication. When in
doubt, over-communicate so that your boss
knows what’s going on and everyone knows
what is expected and what is needed. Concise
communication raises your status, saves
everyone time, and moves the ball forward.
Communication creates visibility and
transparency—both of which help your boss
make better decisions.