Publications & Products
Volume 2, Issue 19

Guaranteed Ways to Earn Respect

There are few management skills more important than commanding respect, says a communications expert.

Geoffrey James, author of How to Say It: Power Words and Strategies from the World's Top Sales Experts, recently shared with Inc. a few ways for managers to make sure they're getting respect from their colleagues. Examples include:

  • Be authentic. "Human beings have a natural ability to detect fakery and see fakers as untrustworthy, insecure and ultimately insignificant," James says. "On the other hand, humans are always drawn to individuals who truly are what they seem to be."
  • Be curious. "When people realize that they're really being heard, they'll tell you what's really important [to them] about their jobs, their dreams, their fears, their goals," he says. "That knowledge not only gives you perspective on how to do your job better but also helps you see how you can best help others."
  • Be discreet. "When people realize you can safely be told anything in confidence, you'll become the one person everyone seeks out when they really need some perspective and advice," he says.
  • Be unique. "Pick a segment of your business or industry that's relevant and essential," James says. "Make it your avocation and hobby to learn everything you can about that subject matter... When you become the resident expert, everyone will depend upon you when they need solid inputs and good decisions."
  • Be helpful. "People respect contributors, disrespect layabouts and despise narcissists," he says. "Being a contributor means making it your primary goal to help others to achieve their goals."
  • Set boundaries. "Nobody respects a pushover, so earning respect also means setting limits," James says. "If you're given an impossible task, explain up front what can be accomplished and commit to accomplish that and no more."

This article is from the Nov. 5, 2012 issue.

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