Wood Words

Respect at Work: Are you earning it or losing it?



“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”


“Respect commands itself and can neither be given nor withheld when it is due.”

–Eldridge Cleaver

You can’t gain respect by reading quotes like these.

You can’t buy your team’s respect.

You can’t have it handed to you on a silver platter from an outgoing leader.

You have to earn it, one small action at a time.

Today, our recruiters in Cool Springs are sharing their top tips for earning respect at work:

  • Make yourself available to employees. Everybody needs time alone to perform high-focus activities, but respected leaders don’t shut their team out. Maintain an “open door” policy. Make yourself approachable – not intimidating – to employees. Take time to seek out your team members’ opinions and listen to their concerns.
  • Take calculated risks. Respected leaders challenge the status quo in search of ways to improve the organization and gain competitive advantage. In your role, systematically evaluate new opportunities and boldly pursue those which offer the best risk-to-reward scenario.
  • Don’t micromanage. If you want to gain employees’ respect at work, don’t keep them under your thumb. Train your team. Empower them to make good decisions. Give them the resources and tools to do their jobs – and then let go.
  • Admit mistakes. Nobody is perfect. When you make the wrong choice or drop the ball, take responsibility for it – and avoid the temptation to place blame. Show your employees that you’re human, you’re honest and you’ll do whatever is necessary to correct your mistakes.
  • Lead by example. If you want your employees to work hard for you, work hard yourself. If you don’t want employees to take advantage of employer perks, don’t abuse them yourself. If you want your team to embrace individual differences, don’t just hire people exactly like you. Your actions are stronger than words and will ultimately determine the amount of respect you receive.
  • Deflect recognition. When you succeed, turn the spotlight on your team. Reward and recognize the individuals whose thinking, actions and innovations contributed to your success.
  • Honor your commitments. Respected leaders keep their promises. They don’t merely talk about things; they actually do them. When you consistently living up to your commitments, you earn your team’s trust – an essential step in earning more respect at work.

Want more time and freedom to focus on becoming a stronger, more well-respected leader? Talk to the experts at Wood Personnel. We’ll help you build your team with high performers. Offload time-consuming activities. And realize your potential as a leader.