Being able to command respect can be a powerful thing. If your boss respects you, your colleagues will never mess with you, you will find understanding when you face a difficult life situation and you will get the benefit of the doubt when you need it most. Earning the respect of those around you at work comes down to knowing a few things about human psychology.
1. Never, ever be late to a meeting
To think about it real terms, it does not usually matter if you are a few minutes late to everything. In practice, though, being late by so much as a minute annoys people and makes them judge you – even if your being late causes them no trouble at all. Becoming known as someone who always keeps his appointments can pay off over the long run.
2. Whatever you do, do not miss a deadline
Many workers only treat deadlines as general targets to aim for. Working among such people, you will be able to stand out if you take every deadline seriously. A reputation as someone who is ever dependable will not only gain you respect, it will help you gain responsibilities that managers above you will not trust anyone else with.
3. Stay away from gossip, especially on the Internet
Most people do gossip; yet, when they catch other people doing the same thing, they judge them for it. Gossiping in person or leaving a trail by gossiping over a social network or email can be terrible for your image at work, should word ever get out. There is also always the risk that you will one day end up sending a piece of gossip to exactly the wrong person.
4. Do not be caught shooting the breeze
Socializing at work is an important way of making contacts, building relationships and getting things done. Yet, it always comes with the risk of being judged as a time waster. While you certainly should allow important people to waste your time sometimes as a way to indulge them, it is not it a good idea to be caught wasting the time of others.
5. Be good to those below you
While the people who take orders from you do not have the power to make trouble for you, their opinion of you does count. If you are respected by everyone below you, it will show in a way that your superiors will see. Common courtesy is a fundamental requirement of success.
6. Do not be too nice
While you do want to be helpful and polite, you need to make sure that you do not let your concern for others rule your life. Many people interpret niceness as a sign of weakness.
7. Dress well
As much as people tell themselves to not judge by appearances, they usually can’t help themselves. Sharp dressers may not get much respect; people with a good sense of what looks respectable, though, do go farther.
8. Remember when not to challenge authority
If someone in a position of authority says something that you believe is mistaken, going ahead and proving it before everyone is not a good idea. When you prove a person in authority wrong, others in the team lose confidence in them.
You will end up looking silly for causing disruption. When you need to fundamentally question something, do it in private, or at least do it over a private email.
9. Never get drunk
If your colleagues or team members ever get to see you in any form other than your usual dignified self, they will remember nothing else about you. If you want to get drunk, don’t do it in a place where your colleagues are likely to see you.
10. Do not care too much about your job
While you certainly should be a conscientious worker, you can’t let fear of getting overtaken or getting fired rule your life.
If your boss or colleagues should begin to suspect that you will do anything to keep your job, they will take full advantage of your fear.