How to Demonstrate Respect in the Workplace

Use these tips to create a respectful workplace that enables employees

Business people demonstrating respect in interaction with each other.
••• Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty Images

Ask anyone in your workplace what treatment they most want from their bosses and coworkers at work. They will likely top their list with the to treat them as if they deserve to be treated with .

Respect is when you feel admiration and deep regard for an individual. You believe that the person is worthy of your regard and admiration because of the good qualities and capabilities that they bring to your workplace.

After feeling the respect and regard, you that show you are aware of your colleagues as people who deserve respect. As such, you recognize that they have rights, opinions, wishes, experience, and competence. They have the right for you to regard them through this referential lens.

Respect in Popular Music

Popular songs sing about the need for respect. It is that universal of a need among humans.

From Aretha Franklin:

Find out what it means to me.”

to Train:

“Everybody needs a little respect
Everybody needs a little time
Everybody needs a little respect
Everybody needs a little.”

Everybody needs a little respect. You know when you have respect. You know when you don’t. You can't tough respect but you can and bosses—and you can feel it when it does not.

How Employees Judge Whether They Are Respected

You can hear respect in a person's tone of voice, , and in the words, they use to address you. You can see respect in how your coworker or boss questions to make sure they understand your point of view.

You judge respect by the way in which your organization, your bosses, and . You see it in how your organization , how they introduce the new procedures to employees, and in how they compensate, .

You see the degree of their respect in how often they ask your opinion, run work changes that affect your job by you before implementing them, and .

But what is respect really? And, how is respect demonstrated at work?


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Tips for Demonstrating Respect

You can demonstrate respect with simple, yet powerful actions. This is a list of ways in which you can demonstrate respect for others in your workplace. These ideas will also help you avoid needless, insensitive, unmeant disrespect, too. Try them; your colleagues and managers will respect you more for trying.

  • Treat people with courtesy, politeness, and kindness.
  • Encourage coworkers to express opinions and ideas.
  • Listen to what others have to say before expressing your viewpoint. Never speak over, butt in, or cut off another person. Listen, really listen, and stop formulating rebuttals and responses in your mind when you need to focus on listening to the other person.
  • Use peoples' ideas . Let employees know hat you used their idea, or, better yet, encourage the person with the idea to implement the idea.
  • Never insult people, use name calling, disparage or put down people or their ideas.
  • Do not nit-pick, constantly criticize over little things, belittle, judge, demean or patronize. A series of seemingly trivial actions added up over time, constitutes .
  • Be , the tone of voice, and your demeanor and expression in all of your interactions at work. People, who are radar machines, are hearing what you're really saying in addition to listening to your words.
  • Improve your own ability to interact with coworkers and bosses in a way that emphasizes the knowledge you have gained from your awareness of people . It will make you more able to offer sympathy, relate with , and of those with whom you work.
  • no matter their race, religion, gender, size, , or country of origin. Implement policies and procedures consistently, so people feel that they are treated fairly and equally. Treating people differently can constitute or a .
  • Include all coworkers in meetings, discussions, training, and events. While not every person can participate in every activity, do not marginalize, exclude or . Provide an equal opportunity for employees to participate in committees, task forces, or . Solicit volunteers and try to involve every volunteer.
  • than you criticize. Encourage praise and to employee as well as from the supervisor.
  • The golden rule does apply in the workplace, or, as professional speaker , says frequently, “You want to implement the platinum rule at work: treat others as they wish to be treated.”

There are many other ways to demonstrate respect at work. You will want to . Respect is a cornerstone of meaningful work. These ideas constitute a solid foundation but your imagination and thoughtful consideration will bring you many more.

Implemented consistently at work, these respectful actions help ensure a respectful, considerate, professional workplace. You can be certain that a respectful workplace brings benefits for all stakeholders.

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