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How to Earn Respect from your team

How to Earn Respect from your team
Vodafone Fiji Rugby Team.
August 12
11:00 2017

This week I was contacted by a young leader who had a common issue that she wanted help with.

She is a young leader just recently appointed to her role which is within an industry which is traditionally mostly male.

Her colleagues are older than her with much more experience and she feels that they don’t respect her and wanted to know how she could handle it.

She felt she was intelligent and had much to offer her employer and wanted to progress her career and become an executive yet she was concerned that the lack of respect from her co-workers would hamper her career prospects.

If you are like this woman and you feel that you are not getting respect from your co-workers then this article is for you.


Challenge your viewpoint

If you feel your co-workers don’t respect you then you are most likely right.

Unless they have told you directly that they don’t respect you, which is unlikely, then your opinion is just a guess.

Maybe a very educated guess but still a guess because you don’t know what others are thinking, you are  only making an assumption  based on your own view of the world.

The first action you need to check is to challenge your own thoughts and ask yourself why you think this way.

Of all the people I coach I can say with all certainty that the most successful clients I have share one thing in common and that is they challenge their thoughts, they don’t assume and their instant reaction about people is correct. Ask yourself what is the evidence to support your view that your co-worker don’t respect you.


Change your mind-set

Your thoughts are a guide to how others should treat you, if you believe that your co-worker don’t respect you then that mentality will go with you in every conversation and meeting you have and this mind-set will influence your behaviours and you may not even be aware that this is happening.

There was research done recently on the lack of women in senior management roles among Fortune 500 companies in the United States.

They found that in these companies there was a bias  in giving senior roles to men instead of women but they also found that to a lesser degree the mindset of female managers was also an issue.

What was happening was when a senior management role was advertised it came with a list of competencies and when women didn’t feel that they had all the competencies they didn’t reply.

They felt that because more men got these roles it was unlikely they would be considered yet when men didn’t have all the necessary competencies they still applied if they felt they had the important ones, so as a result more males than females applied for these roles and because more men than women applied more men got the roles.

Therefore, the belief that some women had that they wouldn’t get the senior roles actually worked against them. If you want to be successful never ever think that you won’t be successful.


Make it clear what is unacceptable behaviour

It’s natural to want to be respected, it’s a fundamental human need to want others to think highly of you but you can’t demand what people think.

That is up to them but as a leader you can demand how they behave in the workplace and how they conduct themselves when interacting with you.

As a leader it is your role to set the boundaries on how people interact with each other and with you.

These boundaries are not formed by your words, either verbal or written but instead by your actions, what you openly praise and what you openly discourage.

If someone doesn’t respect you then to be completely honest that it’s  their problem and it is completely irrelevant to the job on hand unless that disrespect translates into undesirable behaviours in the workplace.

If that is the case then you need to make it very clear that any such behaviour is unacceptable and you expect people to deal with you with the same level of respect that you treat them.


The most effective leaders are not always the most popular ones

It’s far easier to be popular than it is to be effective.

The leaders who want to become popular focus on giving people what they want yet the effective leaders focus on giving people what they need and there are crucial times when what people want is very different to what they need.

It’s during these times that you have to decide what type of leader you want to be.

Never ever allow your desire to be popular become more important than your duty to be effective.

There is one thing that I can assure you of from my experience and that is that respect always follows competence.

Regardless of a leader’s gender,  age, background or level of education, winning the respect of  co-worker  demonstrates competence through knowledge, actions and values.

If you become the leader you want to follow yourself then others will want to follow you.

Mark Wager will be in Fiji between the 11th to 15th September. Mark has limited availability but if you want to meet him or invite him to deliver training at your business contact him at




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