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How to Gain Respect

How to Gain Respect

How to Gain Respect

You cannot demand respect, you must earn it. Understand which character traits command respect, then exemplify them by consciously putting them into practice, every day.

Here are ten character traits that command respect.

  1. Decisiveness
  2. Intellectual honesty
  3. Honesty in relation to property
  4. Hard work
  5. Self-discipline
  6. Approach-ability
  7. Clarity of purpose
  8. Education (Knowledge)
  9. Reasonableness
  10. Politeness

1. Decisiveness.

If you want to command respect, then become a decision maker. Gather your courage and make decisions.

Have the courage to decide: Yes or No, Right or wrong, In or out?

Many people are indecisive. They are afraid to make a decision for fear of making a mistake.

People are not paid for the AMOUNT of work they do.

Instead, people are paid relative to the value of the decision that they are entrusted to make.

Richard Branson does not work harder than you. But he is good at making decisions.

If you want to be respected, then develop your capacity to make excellent decisions.

2. Intellectual honesty.

If you want to gain respect, then you must be honest with people. Predominantly, that means being courageous enough to tell people your true thoughts and not worry too much whether they will agree with you or not.

Some people say only "what they think other people want to hear".

They mirror what others say and parrot the opinions of the majority.

If you want to command respect you must be willing, sometimes, to go against the crowd. Say what you think is true, even if nobody else in the room agrees.

This does not mean you have to be rude, it simply means that you are honest with yourself and others.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

3. Honesty in relation to property.

Honesty also pertains to property.

If you want to gain respect, then you must gain the reputation for scrupulous honesty in all your dealings with people, money and time.

Honesty is important because showing any signs of dishonesty will ruin your prospects.

4. Willingness to work hard.

Laziness is a terrific way to lose respect.

On the other hand, being ready to muck-in and work hard, is a great way to gain respect. Be prepared to do your share of the work, or even MORE than your share, and you will gain the respect of others.

Your aim is to be considered an asset, not a liability.

5. Self-discipline.

Do the right thing, even if you are not in the mood.

Many people know what they should do, but they don't do it, because they don't feel like it.

On the other hand, some people always to the right thing, even if they are not in the mood. They get up early, they arrive on time, and they earn the respect of their colleagues because they can be relied upon, to do what they said they would do.

This requires self-discipline.

6. Approachability.

Some people are difficult to talk to. Some are too prickly; others are bad tempered; others are too reserved.

On the other hand, some people are approachable. They are easy to talk to because they are willing to listen.

This characteristic of being easy to talk to because you are ready to listen, is a terrific way to build respect. Be the person who is not too prickly, not bad tempered and not too shy.

Be open and ready to listen.

Be approachable.

7. Clarity of purpose.

Purposefulness the one of the most important qualities that people respect.

A person with a purpose seems to be on a mission. It is clear they are there to do something definite.

On the other hand, there are some people who have no sense of purpose, they are drifting through their days, in an aimless, haphazard manner.

Drifter mentalities do not command respect.

Those people who display a sense of definite purpose, become magnetic and attract others to them.

If you want to gain respect, then let it be known that you are here to achieve a definite purpose.

8. Educated, (Knowledgeable).

Knowledge is power. If you know what you are doing, then you will earn more respect than if you don't.

Gain an abundance of specialised knowledge in the field of your profession. Become the most expert person in the office, and you will gain respect.

9. Reasonableness.

People expect to be treated reasonably.

If you treat people un-reasonably, then you will earn their contempt.

Treat people according to the principles of reason, whether you like them or not, or whether you agree with them or not.

Don't assume the worst in people. Assume other people are good, until they give you a definite reason to suspect they are not.

Treat all people and all problems according to the principles of reason.

10. Politeness.

Always be polite and well spoken.

Never shout.

Never swear.

Never point your finger or pen at anyone.

No matter what the situation or the provocation, control your communication; keep your language under control.

At all times, speak politely.

Master yourself and you will gain the respect of others.

Further reading: Etiquette and politeness

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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