Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Four Ways to Earn Workplace Respect...and Career Happiness

Aretha Franklin may have been on to more than she realized when she belted out a soulful tune in 1965 asking for a little respect.

It should come as no surprise that respect is important to professionals, but a recent study by researchers at the University of California-Berkeley indicates that they key to career happiness and social well-being at work isn't money: it's the respect one feels from one's peers.

How does you cultivate respect at work? Follow these four best practices to earn the admiration of your peers and make your work-life more satisfying:

  1. Stay true to your word: One of the most significant ways to earn respect is through integrity. Sticking to your word speaks volumes about your character, shows reliability, and lets people know what they can expect from you. Resolve to more closely correlate what you say with what you do.
  2. Practice courteousness: People are emotional creatures, and how you treat them conveys a lot about you. Regardless of how you feel about others, treating them with esteem and graciousness will not only help you cultivate a relationship with them, but show those around you how aptly you are able to handle your relationships.
  3. Stop gossiping: Nothing can kill respect more than gossiping about others. Not only are you creating a negative atmosphere at work, others will wonder what you say about them when they aren't around. If your coworkers start gossiping, refuse to contribute or - better yet - excuse yourself from the conversation.
  4. Show initiative: Creating a reputation as one who completes projects well is a great thing to do, but anticipating business needs and acting on them will reward you with a reputation for taking initiative, a much sought-after quality of professional character. What business needs are not being met, and how can you help?
Through simple changes to your workplace habits and behaviors, you can create an immeasurable amount of respect from your colleagues...and increase your workplace satisfaction while you're at it.

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