How to gain respect at work and take back your dignity

We spend a large part of our lives at our jobs – which is why it is important to carefully decide what to study in college. However sometimes just choosing a career that suits our interests isn’t all. You may find that your biggest problem at work, is being disrespected and taken for granted. If you constantly find yourself being beaten down by others; here’s how to gain respect at work and take back your dignity.

How to gain respect at work and take back your dignity

Know what you do; and do it well

When it comes to gaining respect at work, the most powerful tool in your harness is knowledge. Gaining tacit knowledge and experience can help get you get respected as the “go to person” when the business experiences problems. If you are a junior – it is good to gain this experience by getting involved in projects and also finding a mentor to guide your learning. At the end of the day, the best way to improve is by being proactive and putting in the effort. Spend time during and off working hours expanding your knowledge through online courses. Volunteer to be a part of projects even if it just means observing. Also make use of studying opportunities at your firm so that you are eligible to apply for promotions.

Also read: Online learning disadvantages and how to overcome them

Another way to learn about business processes is by mapping out all operations. This will help you become familiar with how information flows and also to identify gaps in the business that you can get recognition for fixing. As you gain more experience in your niche area – you will find your strengths. Leverage these strengths so that you get respected for the skillsets you bring to the table. Get recognized for e.g. as the bigger picture thinker, the computer geek etc. The ultimate aim is to become indispensable and these labels indicate that you are respected for a particular attribute. Anyone that cannot be easily replaced becomes highly respected – remember that.

Also read: study tips for visual learners

Stand up for yourself respectfully

When it comes to gaining respect at work; standing up for yourself is at the very top of the to do list. Be very tactful however, as coming off to aggressive could indicate signs of poor leadership. You need to always stand up for what you believe in; as not doing so will condition your brain into believing that it is acceptable for people to walk all over you. This is when you become the scared and timid “Yes” man sitting in the corner cubicle at work. I’m sure this isn’t the life you envisioned for yourself. Here are some tips you should follow when standing up for yourself:

  • defend your beliefs with facts
  • Try to understand the other person’s perspective through empathetic listening. Sometimes you may not necessarily be right and this may also help you understand the other person so that you can better argue your point
  • Always follow the right protocols and never turn to anger
  • Control your emotions by practicing internal validation. The less you worry about what people think, the easier it will be to respond calmly when someone is attacking your beliefs
  • Be willing to take the loss for a later win. Sometimes you need to swallow your pride and walk away. There is a time and place for everything
  • Remember to ask yourself if something is really worth it – sometimes being silent can help from blowing things out of proportion

Also read: How to win an argument everytime – guaranteed!

How to gain respect at work using positive recognition

How to gain respect at work using recognition is quite simple – it all boils down to giving off your best irrespective of whose watching. Being known for your impeccable work ethic and abilities is the ultimate aim. When you are given a project, do your best to ensure you get the best results. Choose projects that are high profile as well – because being noticed by the right people can foster relationships with high profile management. By virtue of association with these people; you will then become more respected. A pat on the shoulder by the director or a senior manager in front of other staff members for example can do wonders for your repertoire.

Channel that inner Alpha

Being an Alpha means voicing your opinion and contributing towards a solution. It is therefore no surprise that channeling your inner Alpha is the key ingredient for how to gain respect at work. Spend less time wondering what people will say if you ask a stupid question or make a silly remark – focus more on being recognized as a person who always tries to add value in meetings. Being an Alpha also means not taking “no” for an answer and dealing with difficult people. Be known as the guy/gal who keeps searching for an answer even when it makes people uncomfortable.

Let your work speak for itself

When it comes to gaining respect at work; you need to let your work do a lot of the talking. Make sure that your name appears on the work you do so that even when you are not directly working with someone – they get a taste of your abilities through the work that you do. A good way to ensure that your projects gain good traction is to volunteer your services to other departments for e.g. if you are good at Excel; you can probably help the finance department build a spreadsheet to automate their processes. Put your name on as many things that you can – and you will inadvertently be gaining 1 respect point for everyone that uses or comes in contact with your work

Also read: Efficient Excel spreadsheet design – best practices to follow

Study people who are respected

The last step for how to gain respect at work is to study people in positions of leadership/people who are highly respected. Look at the way they carry themselves in meetings or during communications with people. People are often respected because of the way they treat people as well. Learn how to be humble and respectful to everyone irrespective of their titles and you to shall be respected too. Learn about your personality type and leaderships style and find similar managers/leaders to learn what works for them. Set-up meetings with these people and absorb as much as you can about soft skills required to succeed in the workplace

To conclude; gaining respect at work is something everyone desires. Being respected as a high value team member can be fulfilling and give you a reason to wake up each morning. If you are battling with the question of how to gain respect at work; pragmatically try these methods. Drop a comment below indicating ways you think can help get someone respect in the workplace.

To learn how to fully achieve success in all facets of your life, read: Applying A Growth Mindset To Achieve Success

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