In the gangster movie The Godfather, mafia boss Don Corleone famously said ‘respect is earned not given’. While the ways of the ‘cosa nostra’ don’t apply to the modern office world, when it comes to respect at work the Don had a point.
Whether you’re a manager or intern - everyone should get the respect they deserve. But what if despite your best efforts you just don’t receive any recognition? Before getting frustrated with your colleagues or worse, quitting your job out of the blue, try analysing your professional attitude to see if there is anything you can do to earn the respect you think you deserve. Here are a few tips on how to go about it.
A first step towards earning respect is showing respect - not only to colleagues but also to yourself and the work you do. The display of a bad attitude will not only negatively affect the people in your team but equally the quality of your work.
Show colleagues that you care and are passionate about the work you do. Even if times are difficult and stressful, be sure to maintain a professional attitude. Refrain from talking negatively about clients, projects, and most definitely about your co-workers. Set yourself smart career goals, so you don’t lose track of the bigger picture.
Hard work pays off
Strive to complete each and every one of your assignments well and on time. As most projects are a collaborative effort, their success depends on everyone’s individual effort. If you are given a deadline, it’s best to stick to it or timely communicate a delay.
Your reliability in getting things done will demonstrate to your manager and colleagues that you are responsible and accountable. This also counts for owning up to mistakes, as blaming others for something that was your responsibility will eventually backfire.
Be proactive in exceeding expectations
A common reason for not receiving enough respect is the lack of achievement. For instance, you can’t expect to receive recognition for your leadership skills if you are not heading any project or don’t put yourself in the position to lead a team.
Ask yourself what exactly it is that you think you deserve to be respected for. This will also help you to define your professional goals. Once you are more aware of what you are aiming to achieve, you can start working towards it.
Be congruent at all times
Follow through with what you say you will do. Whether it’s a colleague or your manager, it’s crucial not to send mixed messages. Even if you are ambitious, you should never over-promise if tasked to do something. Be sure that you can actually meet the deadline that’s given to you.