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Eight Communication Tips To Gain Respect at Work

By Lisa Woods (1100 words)
Posted in Communication Skills on May 18, 2012

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Do your coworkers, employees and your boss all listen to your input?  Do they ask for your advice, seek out your opinion, and implement your ideas?  If you answered yes to all of these questions, then I would love for you to share your tips with our readers.  However, if you answered no to any of these questions, I can start you off with eight communication tips that will get you on the road to respect at work.


Tip #1 - Less is More When it Comes To Speaking

Can you picture a room where everyone is talking over one another, there are five conversations going at once, except for the one silent person who is just taking it all in?  As soon as that one person speaks, the room goes silent for all to listen…. that could be you.  It takes a lot of restraint to stay out of the bickering and save your opinion for the right moment, but by doing so others will see you as someone who is considering things carefully and only says things that are valuable to listen to.


Tip #2 - Actively Listen When Others are Speaking

Don’t be the guy checking his email when someone else is presenting or leading a discussion.  Pay attention with your eyes, your ears and your pen (taking notes).  Ask clarifying questions to show you were paying attention.  Lead by example and others will pay the same respect to you.


Tip #3 - Ask Others for Their Opinion During One-On-One Discussions        

When you have ideas, even when you already know what you want to do, take the time to approach others in your organization and explain what you were thinking…taking them down a path to come to the conclusion you already had in mind.  When you take the time to include them in the process, you will get more than their opinion; you will get their buy-in.  Then when you are in a group setting, you already have allies in the room for your ideas.


Tip #4 - Give Out Credit in Abundance

Make a concerted effort to share credit for your ideas with other people in the room, and in your organization.  This will show you are a team player and that you vetted your concepts prior to presenting them.  It is harder for others to ignore you when you can prove your idea is already thought to be sound.  It is really a form of peer pressure.


Tip #5 - Practice When to Lead and When to Follow

If you try to control everything all the time, others will tune you out, they will find you arrogant, and won’t want to support you.  However, if you take the time to support others, they will in turn jump on your team when you stand up to take the lead on something.


Tip#6 - Become an Expert in Your Area & Respect Others in Theirs

Take classes, seminars, read self study books, do your research and become an expert in your area of work.  As your knowledge base grows, so will your confidence and authoritative voice.  People will gravitate towards this.  What you should not do, however, is use that voice in areas that should be led by others.  You don’t want to be a know it all.  Respect that your co-workers have strengths and experiences that you do not.  Encourage them to add value to your work by including their expert input, and they will in turn come to you for yours.


Tip #7 - Be Humble, Yet Confident

Humility is a great life lesson.  You can always be better, know more, and learn new things.  So feel good about what you do know because you are constantly trying to improve yourself, but always keep an open mind that you can improve and grow.  Always keep an eye out for others whom you can learn from and respect them for that ability.


Tip#8 - Pick Your Battles

The workplace can turn into a three year olds playground if you let it. So stay above the fray and act like the adult that you know you can be.  Be the one to settle disputes (the silent one in the room), and always take the high road.  It is more important to fight for things essential to achieving your results vs. things that indulge your ego.  Use these criteria as a litmus test for engaging in work battles.


We all have moments of frustration at work, when we feel like we don’t have a voice, when we know we have a better way of doing something but lack the ability to make it a reality.  With these eight tips you will be on your way to gaining the respect you need to influence others.


Please check out This Week’s Discussion and tell us what you would do: Your boss doesn’t take your input seriously, how can you change that?


I hope you are able to test out these concepts and share your results with us.  Others can benefit from your ideas and experiences.    Good luck!




Written by Lisa WoodsPresident ManagingAmericans.com

Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, and dynamic business leader with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth. Throughout her career, Lisa has been influential in integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and developing employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors.


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Comments (13)

Kayla Schwartz posted on: June 29, 2012

These are great tips. I think the key to them all is in #7: humility. Being humble means knowing your strengths and your weaknesses. All these tips are based on knowing oneself and where one fits into the bigger picture. Respecting others and allowing them to shine. Thanks for sharing these!

Richard Henry posted on: June 29, 2012

To paraphrase one of my favorite leaderhip quotes, "If, as a leader, people are not following you, then you're not leading; instead, you are simply taking a walk."

Janice Clark posted on: June 29, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

Daniel Perry posted on: June 29, 2012

Thank you Lisa! Always enjoy those out-of-the-blue posts where I learn something that important during a normal morning cup of coffee. That just makes my day! Who agrees?

Lorenzo Perrone posted on: August 15, 2012

I really enjoyed the 8 tips. Very true humility is key!

Paul McCord posted on: August 16, 2012

Respect is earned it is not a given and it comes about via demonstration not demand or coercion. If one truly wants to gain the respect of their coworkers that is step one, realize that you are coworker, not a boss. If you assume the role of a typical boss you immediately place yourself at odds with your coworkers. Second it is important to be able to demonstrate a high level of professionalism to your coworkers so that they begin to respect your ability to be a professional in your line of work, what ever that may be. Finally it is important to be able to really listen and then respond to someone when they are speaking to your or showing you how they feel via their actions, that is what communication is all about. Tips and tricks will not get you there. There are no short cuts. It is hard work and it is necessary work otherwise in the long run stress and tension will disintegrate what ever you may have built up, if anything.

Ofa Lewis posted on: August 17, 2012

These 'tricks and tips' are actually practical things that some leaders who have years of management experience do without even realizing it... If staff respect you, it is because you've done something similar to what is in this article. You've spoken a certain way, are consistent in most of your decisions or even given the odd genuine hello to staff etc... This is because over the years, you learn (sometimes the hard way) how best to manage a specific situation. Articles like these are helpful because they break it down for those who may not have the benefit of years of management experience.

Faizal Muhamad posted on: August 28, 2012

Great share.. thanks

DANIEL QUIAMBAO posted on: August 29, 2012

I think this applies to tips on improving your communication/social skills to gain respect at work. Maybe you’ll find them helpful.
1. Listen - Focus your attention outward instead of inward in a conversation. Place the mental focus on the person you are talking and listening to instead of yourself.
2. Be interested in the other person - If you become more interested in people then you’ll naturally become a better listener since you are actually interested in what’s on their minds.
3. Don’t listen too much to criticism
4. Don’t babble on and on - If you talk and talk there will be little time, energy or focus for listening. But if you start to focus outward then your mind will become more focused and you’ll spend less time babbling for too long about something.
5. Treat others as you would like them to treat you - One of the most important things in relationships and conversations is your attitude. It determines a lot about your interactions and how you treat other people.

DANIEL QUIAMBAO posted on: August 29, 2012

6. Keep a positive attitude - If your attitude is so important then what can you do about it? just simply to keep a positive attitude.
7. Use silence - There are several good reasons to learn to be more silent. It will help you to develop your listening skills. Avoid unnecessary arguments and reduce the hurt you do unto others by, for example, criticizing.
8. Communicate with more than your words - To become a better communicator these two areas are ridiculously important. You can for instance improve how you say something by loading your words with more emotions.

Janice Wells posted on: November 28, 2012

I have read these tips and as with most good advice the examples are simple and straightforward. I know I do alot of talking in the team meetings but, I will definitely try to stand back and wait for my moment and clearly put across my thoughts in a well timed and thoughtful approach. I have an important team meeting next week and I hope these "knowledgeable" communication tips will help me to gain outcomes that are viable for me and my teammates!

George Wallace posted on: November 28, 2012

This is so true just paying attention to what others are saying is a mark of respect that is often ignored these days.

Jennifer Nguyen posted on: December 10, 2012

After reading the article, it was interesting to find out that I inherently do most of what was listened, but I know I need to practice Tip #5 & 8. I am aware of what I lack, but need to concentrate more on practicing it.Tip #5 - Practice When to Lead and When to Follow. Tip#8 - Pick Your Battles.

I get really annoyed at people who don't do Tip#6 - Become an Expert in Your Area & Respect Others in Theirs. You were hired for your expertise, stay there. Don't go interfering in others' area of expertise.

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