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How to Get Respect from Your Co-workers

Do you feel that your co-workers respect you?  Do they listen to what you say and treat you professionally?  If not, then you have a problem.  You don't need to be close friends with your co-workers, but you do need their respect.  If you think this may be an issue for you, here are a few steps that you can take:

Accomplish your goals.  As you experience success, you will begin to gain credibility in the organization.  Your co-workers will see that you are a valuable member of the team and they will respect you for it.  However, they have to know about your accomplishments for it to make a difference in the way that they perceive you.  The key is to communicate your accomplishments without bragging. 

Build relationships.  You will get a lot more respect from your co-workers if they like you on a personal level.  The best way to build rapport is to make a genuine effort to get to know them.  Ask them about what they are working on and what they did on the weekend.  Follow up with them and remember details like what their hobbies are and their children's names and ages.  As you build a relationship, your respect for each other will naturally grow. 

Pay attention.  Just being a source of information will make your co-workers respect you more.  What do you know a lot about?  Does your job keep you in the loop on what's happening in the company or in the industry?  Are you good at fixing printers or photocopiers?  Are you naturally able to understand people?  Through both your natural talents and your position, try to find a way to be a valuable source of information.  Everyone needs support sometimes and if you are trustworthy and insightful, your co-workers will be naturally drawn to you.  

Stand up for yourself.  People will treat you the way that you allow them to treat you.  If a co-worker is being disrespectful, it is important that you let them know that it is not an acceptable way to talk to you.  It is possible to be assertive without fighting back.

Be reliable.  Since so many people don't follow through on their commitments, you will stand out if you do.  When you tell someone that you will do something, follow through on your promise.  Once your co-workers know that they can count on you, their respect for you will grow.       

True respect from your co-workers has to be earned.  Being professional and considerate will help but it is equally important for you to take pride in your work and to set boundaries when necessary,  

(Written by Karen Bivand, Image by