Every human being has an innate need/desire for respect from their family, friends, workplace or society. I will share some of my thoughts on how to effectively command respect in a workplace.
Internalise and focus on your attitude, behaviour, knowledge, capabilities, values and ethics. Effective and confident people have a realistic assessment of self and are continually developing themselves on the above mentioned elements. If you lack in any of those elements then your need and desire will remain a wish. Instead of externalising and blaming others for not giving you respect. You need to begin by understanding as to what is required of you and if you are working on developing yourself for being worthy of commanding respect. Let’s discuss the elements a bit more.
Attitude and Behaviour. Don’t confuse attitude with behaviour, even though intertwined, they are two distinct things. Attitude is a person’s mindset, feelings, beliefs, or opinion towards something (situation or people). Behaviour is an exhibited action or reaction that a person presents in response to a stimuli. Stimuli often comes from situations and other people’s action. Effective people understand the golden link of Thinking – Feelings – Behaviour (Stephen Covey). How you think is how you feel, how you feel impacts your behaviour. Thinking is the lead factor and feeling and behaviour are it’s lag factors. Therefore, if you want to modify your behaviour or influence someone else’s behaviour then focus on understanding how and what a person thinks. To be able to command respect your attitude and behaviour has to be positive, constructive, calm, reflective, sensitive and most importantly respectful. Remember “respect is reciprocal”.
Refrain from externalising and blaming others for everything bad that happens to you. The constant “I am Okay and You’re Not Okay” (Eric Berne) mindset and communication state is a recipe for disaster. I have learnt myself and coached several others on how to apply the Transactional Analysis model of Eric Berne, Transactional analysis (TA) is a psychoanalytic method of therapy wherein social transactions are analyzed to determine the ego state of the communicator (whether parent-like, childlike, or adult-like) as a basis for understanding behavior. I would recommend that you read and understand it. Amongst several other tools this can help you analyse and correct the externalising de-railer and manage ones ego state . You may need a coach for it.
Knowledge and Capabilities play a big role in the way you command respect and sustain it. Knowledge gives you the the right level of confidence. When knowledge is applied and practiced, it start building skills and capabilities. Highly knowledgeable and capable people often inspire others and that allows you to command more respect in a workplace. Learning is key to gaining knowledge and building capabilities in one self. Effective people are constant learner’s and they have a good senses of their own learning styles and abilities. To command respect, pay attention to this important facet.
Values and Ethics are foundational for being able to command any kind of respect. If you don’t have the right set or values and ethics and have all the above mentioned elements then it’s guaranteed that you won’t command any respect at any place. Good beliefs that get founded in a person from an early age, lead to creating a sound set of values and ethics. For example if you have grown up with a belief that all human beings and animals needs to be treated with respect and care, then that, becomes your strong value system. Effective people have very sound beliefs and they constantly check and correct them as appropriate. As simple as it may sound, being punctual, objective, fair, delivering on your commitments to people, responding to people’s emails and text messages, giving credit and authentic praise when it’s due, being transparent and non-political, etc is what defines your work ethics. High standards and sustained exhibition of these work ethics at the workplace will make you a role model and commanding respect won’t remain a wish.
In conclusion, I would say, it’s a combination of all the above and none of them are mutually exclusive. Its very important that one manages his/her self esteem. Also there is a possibility of a chance that in certain situations and organisation, “You are Okay and Others Aren’t Okay”. In that case, do not ever take things lying down and to maintain your self esteem, walk away from that organisation. But, one important check – if you are finding the need to often walk away from many organisations and people, then there is good chance that you are externalising things and in the “I am Okay and You’re Not Okay” ego state. Another important check, if you are not able to command respect of your family, friends, society and workplace – either from all of them or even two out of the four – Well then, let me tell you, the problem is with you. In that case, do seek feedback and coaching from a objective person you respect and trust at the workplace.
Hope you find this useful and do share your thoughts and views based on your experiences. I am keen to learn from you.