Earning Respect As A Manager

I recently posted about employees who disrespect their supervisors or even become insubordinate. Everyone wants to be respected, but you have to earn it. You can’t go to the store and buy a bucket of “respect”. 

Even if you are the boss, you don’t walk into the job with the automatic respect of your staff. They might respect the position, but to be truly effective, leaders need to earn the respect of their team members. 

Laura Taylor, the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive In Your Job,” says, “Earning respect as a manager is a quintessential ingredient to reaching the top.  You may be liked, feared at times, or neither–but if you’re held in high regard by your colleagues, you’ll accelerate your career success.”

Bob Lee, a New York-based executive coach and management consultant, says some managers don’t get the respect they deserve because they’re often faced with difficult challenges that the workforce doesn’t understand or appreciate—and the employees might not understand the reasons for the manager’s decisions. “There also are situations where bias (conscious or otherwise) can creep into people’s perceptions,” he says.

It will take time. Your strategy for gaining respect should include the following steps: 

  • Showing respect is the best way to earn respect. 
  • The key is to be an excellent communicator. 
  • Be a hard worker
  • Listen to the concerns of your staff and be polite and fair. 
  • Assume the best about your colleagues.
  • Admit your mistakes. 
  • Be polite

You will be recognized as a more effective leader if your team respects you.  Giving and showing respect should be something that is core to how we should all behave. As Irish novelist Lawrence Sterne put it, “Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.”


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