You’re intelligent, smart, help your colleagues and are an all round good person. However at work, you feel that people don’t respect you. Your opinions, solutions and comments tend to fall on deaf ears. When you ask someone to pull their weight, your request get’s ignored. You know this can’t continue and you deserve better.
Below I’ve put together 5 ways in which you can help raise your status amongst your peers and make them recognise that you are a valuable team member who deserves respect.
1. Ensure you get credit for what you do. If you’ve completed a bit of work, make sure that all the key people are aware of what you’ve done. Carbon copy managers into your emails (don’t spam, be tactful, only copy them into things which show you in a positive light and has some level relevance to them). Subconsciously they will recognise your contribution, your value and ultimately resulting in more respect.
2. Quality not quantity. In any meeting don’t be the first to speak, take your time and ensure that what you say is meaningful and has value. If all you’re doing is adding is your 5 cents worth, It’s better to control the urge to speak and stay silent because in these situations less is more. If you’re asked to participate, a good approach is to say the following “I thought everyone raised some valid points …” followed by highlighting one or two points which you liked. Ensure that you name the individuals and give them credit, then close with “I have nothing more to add”.
3. Add weight to what you say in meetings. Start off with “like Steve said” or “I agree with Jen”. Always mention someone else’s name before making your own point and giving your opinion. When you’re in agreement with someone who has greater influence than you, your point will carry more weight! Also, those individuals will appreciate the credit they’ve received from you and therefore, subconsciously will be more supportive of what you have to say.
4. Deal with the “Users”. It’s very likely that if you’re not respected it’s partly down to people taking advantage of your good nature and this has to stop! Every organisation has its fair share of lazy, corner-cutting “users”, who get others to do their work whilst taking the credit. Any healthy relationship is a two-way street. So if you feel you’re being used, test your relationships. Ask them to do something for you (related to their work) and see if they’ll do it. If they don’t after repeated requests, it’s time to put them on your “Users” List. Next time they ask for help, just say “Sorry I’m too busy ask so and so”. They’ll come back but by continuously and politely rejecting their approaches they will soon get the hint and find someone else.
5. Deal with the Office Bully. Not every office has one but if you do you probably know. Their humour is like a hate filled jam donut, doughy banter filled with passive aggression; and just like school bullies they pick on easy targets. Since human beings have a pack mentality this person will set the tone for the way others treat you. Deal with the bully and you’ll deal with the rest. So how do you do it? Firstly It’s important not to be passive aggressive back. Don’t give them the feedback or the reaction that they crave. My simple advice is to call them out on what they say! Call a spade a spade. If they say something demeaning, let them know it’s demeaning and not very nice or professional. Now things might get worse before they get better because it’s likely they’ll push for a reaction that they’re used to, but by not buckling under the pressure they’ll soon realise that you’re not a soft target and they’ll eventually move on.
The human subconscious is by far the biggest driver in forming our opinions of others. By using these soft techniques, you’ll hopefully see improvements and find that co-workers and your boss are more interested in what you say, appreciate what you do and give you the respect and recognition you truly deserve.
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