Respect is not given, nor built – it is earned. In Business, in life, in community RESPECT is one commodity that is critical to everyone’s success.  The fruits of your labors will not be realized if respect is not established and maintained, how are you doing with RESPECT AT WORK?

Growing up we all should have been taught the basics of respect, but it is very clear that many people forget the basics, choose not to use the basics or just don’t care.  Our society is seeing a failure of respect, in law enforcement, in education, definitely in politics and unfortunately at work!

Simply put I see seven components to earning, gaining and maintaining respect at and in the work environment

It is critical that you be truthful, first and foremost to yourself, and subsequently to those you work for, with and your customers.  Without the element of truth you have absolutely no basis or foundation for respect. Truth must be foundational in all aspects ensuring that you are not embellishing, stretching or fabricating any of the elements of your work environment.  The hard truth is that those that are less than truthful, the veil are very shear and most everyone sees right through it.

Be the person that is helpful.  Look around your current work environment, people gravitate to people who are helpful by nature and design.  The element of helpfulness can sometimes be seen as aggressive, but when your offer to assist is genuine, and you have completed all of your task or have the ability to add to your list, then your coworkers and leaders see the true you and you gain the element of respect in this area.

It used to be there were three ways to communicate in most office or professional settings 1) telephone 2) telefax or 3) Tell-A-Mark or Bob or Sue or Diane.  Don’t be the #3 person.  Respect is very seldom a trait that you equate with a person who shows no discretion. Respect the confidence that people place in you and that in turn will go a long way to earning their respect.

Advancing and ensuring that you provide praise to people who have earned shows that you are truly excited and happy for their success, and most likely if they are successful, the entire team is successful.  Acknowledging the credit due is yet one more way people look to advancing their respect for you and in you.

Be confident in yourself. By standing up straight, making eye contact, using a firm handshake and smiling, and being genuine in the use of the traits, allows people to believe in you, and want to be around and work with you. That confidence is extremely important; the most successful people in all areas will exhibit this trait.

It is said that cleanliness is next to godliness, and this element is more than critical, more than important it is the first thing you must do. Your hygiene and appearance of looking clean and sharp, pressed pants and shirts, minimal perfume or cologne, makeup that is less than what you would see on Broadway are all elements in which people need to operate in harmony with the many different components of a work environment. Cleanliness also refers to your actions and habits. Whether on Facebook or twitter or Instagram or in public, no one needs to see you pass out drunken photos, or read similar stories. I guarantee you respect will quickly erode or be lost!

Dignity is not a simply defined element. It is and does encompass many areas, like being a person who keeps their word, it creates truth, honesty and increases your reputation and earns respect. Dignified actions show your giving respect, by providing encouragement when needed, praise when warranted, and being equally engaging to all coworkers or customers. Work hard, do your job well and focus on the many elements that can create respect and pay attention. Invest you – by identifying elements and ingredients like those above and you will gain RESPECT.