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You can Demand Courtesy, but you have to Earn Respect

As human beings, we all value a sense of respect from those around us. A sense of recognition from our colleagues is something we all pursue, plus it contributes to a cohesive and inclusive work environment. So, we would like to share with you these tips towards achieving respect:


Humility is a rare and sometimes overlooked trait in individuals, usually overshadowed by the abundance of office tasks carried out in a fast-paced manner. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon that a fellow co-worker will exploit your professional achievements or failures. These types of people… often the big ego’s of the office, have the ability to strain co-worker relationships and disrupt the team’s mood. You must show that you are willing to admit your flaws, but do not unnecessarily highlight them. The balance between self-confidence and self-deprecation is essential in gaining respect from your co-workers.

Follow the Rules:

Simple advice, yet so effective. Turning up to work late, joining meetings late, skipping work social functions, overstaying at lunch break times, etc are actions that do not garner respect. By following these written and unwritten norms, you will be noticed for setting a standard. You will gain a reputation of being reliable, honest and respectful.

Showcase your Willingness to go Above and Beyond:

From day one it’s a good idea to give 100% to every activity. Covering for an unforeseen absence or helping a colleague to meet a deadline shows your willingness to do that little bit extra. Doing more than is expected of you instils confidence in your peers and seamlessly conveys that you are a respected go-to member of the team.

Avoid Office Gossip:

Do not bother involving yourself in office politics and this includes gossip being kept to an absolute minimum. Such exchanges can make you seem untrustworthy with confidential information, even highlighting that you are an individual who thoroughly enjoys discussing the misfortune of others. Respecting your co-workers even if you may not like them should be a learned behaviour, as it will reduce the chances of your involvement in office politics.

The Golden Rule:

Lastly, “treat people the way you would want them to treat you”. There is a reason this saying has existed for centuries and that’s purely because its applicable in every area of life. This mantra encourages you to listen, speak and naturally respect others. Such altruism will influence the rest of the office and it is likely your co-workers will replicate such positive behaviour. Plus, this recognition will help your career. It is not just your technical skills that influence your prospects. People will decide if they want to work with or for you and is one of the key factors to succeeding in organisations.

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