Tips to Get More Respect at Work And Improve Your Promotion Chances

Want to improve your workplace vibe?

I must admit. In previous roles I’ve been so focused on getting the work done and buillding relationships with colleagues, I did not spend enough time actually getting pally with clients or enjoying the job as I could have done.

Is that why some people who are not star performers get promoted??

Want to spice up your workplace mojo and get some more respect in the process? Try out these 24 tips and see how your impact at work transforms!

1. Smile more

You have two options: You can be stressed out all day, while stressing out those around you, or you can project an air of confidence and ease (even if you don’t always feel it!). The good news is that a smile on your face not only puts others at ease, but it can also change your own brain by making you less anxious and more confident. Try smiling more at work and see the magic.

2. Listen actively

Many have the mistaken notion that talking more and sharing our knowledge continuously is the way to gain respect. However, talking is only a fraction of the equation. Want to really win respect? Learn how to actively listen to others and build off their ideas, in addition to your own. Support and encourage others by being actively engaged in what they have to say.

3. Invite someone to lunch

A big part of being respected is taking the first step and taking initiative. Sometimes this means going out of your comfort zone and trying something new, like inviting someone you don’t know well out for either a group or individual lunch.

4. Tell a story

Got a story to tell? Good, so why aren’t you telling it? Stories have a unique ability to reach parts of the brain that regular talk simply doesn’t. If you want to be respected and liked, sharing a personal story is a great way to give people a peek into who you are and what you’re all about, winning not only respect, but trust.

5. Publish a story

You can go a step further by publishing what you know. If you have a relevant story, case study, or piece of information that deserves to be told to the masses, try submitting it to be published in a relevant journal or blog. You can also go the DIY route on sites like and Linkedin, which are both fabulous platforms for sharing content with your network and gaining new followers.

6. Know your stuff

Don’t talk just for the heck of it. Speak when you feel really called to, and make sure you know what you’re talking about. Trust me, it’s obvious when you’re just talking because you want to be heard vs. really knowledgeable about a topic!

7. Don’t let yourself be talked over

How often do you get talked over, interrupted or sidelined in meetings or conversations? If this is a pattern for you, make it stop now! If someone does this while you’re speaking, feel free to politely interrupt them back and say that you didn’t get a chance to finish your point, which you feel is pretty important. Don’t let yourself get the shaft!

8. Dress the part

Whether we like it or not, a big part of respect is in appearances. Dressing shabby with uncombed hair won’t get you too far when it comes to respect. Whereas, putting on some nice duds, fixing your hair and making sure you look clean will not only give you confidence but could potentially make others look at you with awe!

9. Breathe more

This is an adjunct to the first tip, smiling more. Remember that being at ease puts others at ease, something that people really appreciate. So, remember to breathe throughout the day, especially during stressful periods. If you can be the voice of reason amidst a fire drill, for example, people will thank you for it!

10. Walk around and say hello

Get off the computer once in a while, and take the opportunity to make small talk with your colleagues. If you work remotely, try dropping a “hello” email to people once in a while. This functions by reminding people you exist, which is a great first step, and also impressing them by your proactive nature!

11. Write better emails

On the same note, many of us suffer from email overload and end up writing one-liners that are merely transactional, forgetting to communicate that we are warm, breathing people writing these emails. Try putting in a “how are you?” line, emoticon, or lighthearted joke once in a while so you don’t seem too mechanical.

12. Stand up straight

Posture and body language play a huge role in how we are perceived. If you’re always slumped over your desk, you won’t inspire much respect from your colleagues. However, if you have your head held high, shoulders back and chest straight, you have a better chance of being noticed and respected.

13. Make eye contact

Want to win not only respect, but trust too? Try looking people in the eyes more. Looking away while talking is a habit that sometimes seems easier, but it unfortunately portrays a lack of confidence and trustworthiness. When you look someone in the eye and speak, there is a powerful exchange of energy that allows for deeper trust and respect.

14. Strengthen your voice

If you find you do get talked over often, experiment with your vocal tone. Some people have naturally softer or lower voices and thus, can’t command a conversation as easily. If you have a softer voice, do vocal exercises, including breathing and making sound from your diaphragm rather than your chest or head.

15. Help others

A great way of winning respect is simply helping others and making time beyond oneself. Being in a position of offering service immediately commands respect and also makes you likeable.

16. Take initiative

If you think something at your workplace needs to change or you’d like to do things differently, be the change! Suggest the idea, and if you get some interest, take charge and make it happen.

17. Don’t be afraid to disagree

On the same note, don’t be a “yes” man and go along with the status quo if you find that there is a problem. Often, we’re afraid of speaking up against the way things are, but it’s the ones who speak up who are able to change things and garner respect from others who are too afraid!

18. Organize your space

In addition to cleaning up your appearance, try to make your workspace clean and organized as best you can. This just requires a few minutes each day of tidying up and organizing, but it goes a long way both in terms of your respect and your own mental health.

19. Show empathy

Many leaders are great at inspiring and driving change, but not so great at listening to their teams and understanding struggles that individuals may face. Having empathy, for example, during a big organizational change, can go a long way in positioning you as a true leader. All it takes is showing that you’re listening and you understand someone else’s point of view.

20. Ask good questions

As important as it is to say the right things, it may be even more important to ask the right questions. Great questions are what make others think, act and get inspired. A good question can change the entire quality of a meeting and elevate it to new heights. Get used to asking impactful questions.

21. Be on time

We can’t expect to get respect if we don’t respect others. That means respecting their time and trying our best to be on time, regardless of who they are. While this isn’t always feasible, we should at least make our very best effort to manage time effectively.

22. Give helpful feedback

Particularly if you manage others, giving helpful feedback is an essential skill in helping people grow that they will highly appreciate. Try to make time to coach and mentor others, either formally or informally, so that they can reach their goals faster.

23. Receive feedback

Be open to receiving feedback as well, even when it comes in the form of constructive criticism. Feedback can be a great gift and growth tool, by showing us what we don’t know about our impact on others. Instead of getting offended or hurt, try to take feedback in stride and use it to become even better.

24. Use powerful and inspiring words

Last but not least is to pay attention to the words you use. Words are powerful. It’s the difference between saying “sure,” “okay” or “absolutely!” It’s the difference between “great” and “amazing.” Each of these words evokes a different feeling, and the more powerful words are the ones that stick and make you memorable and inspiring.

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Cliff Morton


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