Being respected at work can make your life a whole lot easier. Your boss may cut you some slack, your peers will like you, and there is a far greater chance that you will be at the front of the queue for the next promotion.
However, when we think about respect at work, it usually conjures up thoughts around being professional, being a team player, turning up on time and looking the part. While these character traits are important, gaining respect from others can go a lot deeper – starting with respecting ourselves.
For many of us, we carry a bunch of bad habits that cost us respect at work – here; we reveal how disrespecting ourselves can actually result in us losing the respect of others.
Bad habit #1 Saying sorry, sorry, sorry - even when you’re not
Saying sorry is a natural part of admitting you were wrong; however, being overly or insincerely apologetic can come across as a lack of confidence or conviction. Psychotherapist Beverly Engel shares in her book The Power of an Apology, “[over-apologising] can give a certain kind of person permission to treat you poorly.”
Tip - As an employee, be sure you only apologise when genuinely necessary, for example, when you are at fault or have made a mistake.
Bad habit # 2 Ummm… Being wishy-washy
Being wishy-washy when asked for an opinion or a decision can reduce your credibility. A core element of being part of a team is making decisions and completing work to a deadline. Isaiah Hankel, CEO and job search expert, finds that “people with low self-respect fail to accomplish critical tasks because they are too afraid to make a bad decision,” while those with high self-respect trust in their ability to solve problems.
Tip – When asked for your opinion, be sure to offer a thoughtful and considered response. If you find yourself being indecisive, ask yourself what additional information you need to help you confidently make a decision. Developing your decision-making skills could improve your self-respect and help you gain the respect of others.
Bad habit # 3 Slouching so much that a physio can’t help you
Your body language says a lot about you. Shy team members may have closed off body language such as crossing their arms, biting nails and slouching like they want the ground to swallow them up! Confident team members stand tall and proud, have a certain presence that in turn fills others with trust and respect.
Tip - Practise “power posing” by standing and sitting tall. Not only does it make you seem confident and engaged, it also helps you to breathe more effectively, which can work wonders for your brain health!
Bad habit #4 Mumbling and bumbling
Mumbling your answers and looking around the room can give the impression that you may lack certainty in your thoughts and ideas. Experts suggest that mumbling can kill your credibility. Dr Andrew Tucker, a professor at Birkbeck College and the University of London, recalled that thousands of jobs were not being filled each year because candidates couldn’t communicate effectively.
Tip – Self-awareness is the first step. Stand up, breathe deep and project your voice when you speak. Being conscious about your verbal communication will ensure your message is heard, and you are taken seriously.
Bad habit # 5 Ditch the BO and smell like success
Looking good and smelling fresh ensures you present the best version of yourself to your colleagues. In a study at the University of Texas, Professor Dan Hamermesh found that dressing for success can lead to about 9 per cent higher pay for men and 5 per cent higher pay for women.
Tip - Ensuring you are appropriately dressed, showered, have your teeth brushed and your nails clean and tidy is a great way to get into the routine of looking the part at work.
Respecting yourself can be the first step to gaining your colleagues’ respect, so ditch those bad habits that are instantly costing you respect at work! You’ll find you get more opportunities, greater respect and a whole lot more job satisfaction.
· Overly apologise; this can make you seem like you are beneath your colleagues or the job.
· Be uncertain in your decisions as this can come across as a lack of skill.
· Present with closed or slouchy poor body language.
· Mumble your words, as this can kill your credibility.
· Have poor personal hygiene.
· Apologise when you are in the wrong or have made a mistake.
· Be prepared when asked for your opinion or decision.
· Sit and stand tall to come across as open and approachable.
· Project your voice and articulate your words to get your thoughts across effectively.
· Turn up clean, smelling fresh and appropriately attired.
If you are open to new opportunities, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and receive advice from the experts in labour-hire, permanent and contract staff.