I read a really interesting story in the Evening Standard this week entitled, ‘Women of steel: who is the toughest female super boss of them all?’ http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/women-of-steel-who-is-the-toughest-female-superboss-of-them-all-9810101.html

I agree that tenacity and having resolute focus and determination is a great quality they all share and is a great quality for a good manager.

However, I also think earning respect from your colleagues in the workplace, whatever their level is vital, and probably something with which these impressive female CEOs would agree. (After all, they must have earned respect at some point along the way, otherwise they wouldn’t be where they are now!).

With this in mind, here are 5 tips to earn the respect of the people with whom you work. We reckon the steel magnolias in the ES article probably follow them too:-

1. Learn to say ‘no’

Don’t feel guilt about saying ‘no’ every once in a while; and don’t worry about missed opportunities either. You don’t need to agree to everything that someone asks from you, especially it is a superior or a client.

Sometimes you will be more respected by saying ‘no’ rather than to agreeing to something. When you say ‘no’ you are admitting that you value your time and that you simply don’t have the time for everything.

2. Don’t waste other’s time

If you respect other’s time, they will respect yours, de facto!

This includes not being late for appointments, not spending meetings taking about useless items, getting to the point fast, bringing up any issues right away, being succinct, and making it easier for other to make decisions, especially when they are busier than you. (This one is key, IMO).

3. Stop being ‘too nice’

Distinguish kindness from always having to do things for people. Trying to make everyone happy won’t get you very far. Being a pushover is highly undesirable if your goal is to be respected. If you are too nice to everyone all the time, some people could even think you aren’t really genuine.

4. Stop Talking

Sometimes you need to stop talking and just listen.

People who talk endlessly without pause aren’t usually respected. Listen to others. Stop talking about yourself all the time. Genuinely listen to others and try to understand them.

Use silence to your advantage; not every pause should be filled with a noise. Taking a moment to consider a thing before you open your mouth is almost always going to command respect.

Take a look to Obama in this YouTube film, speaking on November 4, 2008, in Chicago, after winning the presidential election.

He has truly mastered art pause! The most obvious are the lengthy pauses, like the 14-second-long one at the end of the section beginning at minute 7:33, and the 11-second-long one at the end of the section beginning at minute 12:19.

5. Control your emotions

Make sure you curb your instant reactions to things that make you highly emotional, whether it’s good or bad. It’s ok to be yourself and show enthusiasm, but remember that well respected people know the difference between responding and reacting. The latter is not a good habit.

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