Wednesday 25 September 2019

How to gain respect at work

There’s always that one person who seems to command respect from bosses and colleagues without even trying. Perhaps on the outside that’s how we see it but, the truth is, they probably work extremely hard to gain that level of respect.

If you want to achieve the same kind of respect at work, you should try to recognise the kind of traits that others look up to.

Show respect

There’s no point complaining that nobody gives you respect if you are incapable of giving it to others. How we speak to people and interact with them can have a powerful impact on how they treat us in return. When we are polite, attentive and understanding towards others, they are more likely to reciprocate.

Remain professional

It can be tempting at times, particularly at the annual party, to be the centre of attention, but remember that getting attention and gaining respect are quite different. It might seem like fun at the time to have one too many drinks and hog the dance floor, however, this could lead to negative comments and gossip once you’re back in the office.

Don’t gossip

There are many places of work where idle gossip is rife. Not only can this create a toxic environment and be damaging to the wellbeing of others, it’s not the way to gain respect. You might believe that joining in with gossip is a great way to fit in with your colleagues but in the long run, it can have the opposite effect.

Be confident

There’s a difference between having self-confidence and being arrogant, so be careful to get the right balance. When we're self-confident, we have belief in ourselves and have the skills or qualities to back it up, yet arrogance can be seen as egotistical and smug so try to remain modest and humble.

Take accountability for your actions

It can be extremely frustrating when something goes wrong at work and the person responsible doesn’t take accountability and, worse still, they try to put the blame onto someone else. We all make mistakes from time to time and by owning up to them, we can find ways to rectify the issue. You’ll find that your colleagues and boss will have much more respect for the fact that you owned up to your mistake, and it is more likely to be quickly forgotten.

Help others to succeed

One of the best ways to create a more positive environment at work and to earn respect is by helping others whenever possible. We all know how frustrating it can be when you're unsure of something and no one is prepared to help and would rather keep their knowledge under wraps so that they can receive all the glory. If you go out of your way and sacrifice some of your time to give help when it’s needed, people will most definitely respect you for it.

Work hard

You can do all of the above but if you turn up for work late every day, take too many breaks and don’t complete the work you’re supposed to have done, your colleagues won’t respect you and, chances are, your boss could give you a warning.

In order to gain the respect that we’d like at work, we must consider what kind of character traits and qualities we admire in others and demonstrate the same.

In 2018, Harvard Business Review produced this interesting report based on research that explore respect in the workplace.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Stepping up to a challenge

There are many reasons why we might want to feel appreciated or recognised for the work we do in our job; we may want to feel good about ourselves, dream of a promotion, or gain respect from our colleagues.

So, how do you feel when your boss has chosen you to undertake a challenge at work? Initially, you might feel excited or self-satisfied that you have been trusted with the important task. But what do you do when those initial feelings begin to turn into fear and anxiety?

Yes, it feels great that you’ve been given such a responsibility but perhaps you start to question whether you’re capable of stepping up to the challenge.

If feelings of self-doubt have started creeping in, you’re probably questioning your abilities to succeed. You may be fearful that you won’t achieve the desired results, you can’t handle the extra workload or you’re not sure how to even go about the task at hand.

Overcoming the fear

Fear can lead to negative self-talk and can even, in some cases, convince you that you’re simply not good enough. But you must remember the positive feelings you had before fear took over your mindset. It’s likely that, before you were given the challenge, you believed in your abilities and you were full of self-worth.

Make a note of everything you have accomplished so far in your job and all the positive skills and qualities you are proud of. Don’t forget that your boss must also have seen your value to consider you for the task in the first place.

Once you start to focus on the positives, your confidence will start to grow, and the niggling seeds of doubt will fade into the background.

Challenges are so-called for a reason and most likely you’ll come across problems along the way. It’s your job to find solutions rather than make excuses. Understandably, you might be worrying about the security of your job if you don’t succeed, but don’t forget to think about the rewards when you do succeed.

Think of the challenge as a series of tasks that will test your determination and cognitive skills. As you start to overcome each step, you will prove to yourself that you are the right person for the challenge. Compliment yourself for every obstacle that you overcome and savour that incredible feeling of satisfaction, which will spur you on to achieve the end goal.

Ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask co-workers or those more qualified in relevant areas for help. Management and organisation skills are equally as important and can often lead to making the wisest decisions. Building allies can be a smart move.

If you’re really unsure of the best action to take during the challenge, think of several solutions and perhaps sound them out with your boss. That way they will recognise that you’re not just approaching them with problems but rather offering alternative strategies to overcome them.

The more times you step up to a challenge and achieve the end goal, the more you’ll grow in confidence, making the next challenge easier and less daunting. Try to remember the familiar saying: “challenges are opportunities in disguise”.