Respect You Earn, It’s Not Attached to Your Business Card

Once you are promoted to a new position, you may expect it to come along with the respect of your colleagues, superiors and most of all of your new subordinates. Well, the bad news is that this isn’t going to happen and the good part is that it’s up to you to earn it. The bad part is that without the trust and respect of others, you are not going to move forward, at least not in the long run.


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Like every other manager getting a new role, you will try to prove everyone you were the best choice, to show them how things are done… not like the ones before you. People may get to think that you are just another manager to teach them about the donut hole. It’s (almost) normal for things to happen this way, even though not everything will be out in the open each time.  

You may even try the arse-kissing version, but that also won’t serve you in the long run.

How can you tell you are not really up to the challenge:

  • When asking for volunteers for a new project, no one is offering;
  • They cross on the other “side” of the hallway when they meet you;
  • They sabotage you;
  • They avoid real conversations and use mainly emails when communicating with you;
  • They constantly contradict everything you say, even when you are right;
  • They claim you seem impossible to please;
  • They answer monosyllabic-ally;
  • Last, but not least – they directly let you know what they think about you.

What might help in earning their respect:

  • Respecting yourself;
  • Keeping your promises;
  • Asking for their opinion even when the final decision is yours;
  • Looking them in the eyes when addressing them;
  • Showing that you work for your people, not them for you;
  • Treating each of them like distinct individuals, nonetheless correct and without any favoritism;
  • Showing consistency in your behavior;
  • Paying respect to their personal lives and not bothering them outside office hours;
  • Making sure they reach their objectives because a side effect will be meeting your own objectives;
  • Staying firm in your decisions;
  • Accepting the other person’s opinion;
  • Teaching them what you know;
  • Not lying;
  • Being friendly. Not necessarily a friend, just friendly;
  • Providing support when needed, not micromanaging all the time;
  • Trusting them;
  • Making time for them, even though this implies a lot of spam visits in the beginning and other unwanted consequences;
  • Communicating openly and often – it’s never too much, though they may speculate you are a bit senile;
  • Learning as much as possible from the others. Showing arrogance is one of the biggest mistakes you can make;
  • Asking for and providing feedback periodically;
  • Admitting your mistakes and communicating the measures to avoid them in the future;
  • Handling conflicts objectively;
  • Getting your arse to work;
  • Showing respect;
  • Being patient.

Most of the times respect is earned before the promotion. When opportunity presents itself, the already built respect and personal brand will be very helpful along the new path.

Don’t despair when meeting those who don’t show any respect. No matter what you do, it’s impossible to please everyone. You don’t have to!

Good luck gaining respect!

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