Universally recognized and traded (“It’s everywhere you want to be!”), respect is the currency of people on the move, who know and work its profitable exchange rate in the commerce of getting things done.
Leaders in every industry deal primarily in social capital—networks of social connections, interpersonal relationships, and shared values and ethics, that enable and encourage mutually advantageous cooperation toward shared ambitions. And respect is the blue chip stock of social capital. Investing it in pays large and growing dividends.
Yet as exalted as this lucrative performer is, respect is a stock in trade that cannot be bought—only earned. Here are 12 guaranteed ways to stop yearning and start earning respect:
1. Give it. Treating others the way you want to be treated is not just an ancient adage, but remains a golden rule for living today. In the economy of respect, the more you give, the more you gain: confer courtesy, bestow honor, and dish out dignity—and you’ll earn many happy returns.
2. Practice self-respect. Despite your own faults and failures (everyone has a slew of them), know that you are worthy of high esteem and unbiased regard. Treat yourself accordingly. Unsubscribe from the steady stream of negative self-talk and invest instead in a constructively healthy lifestyle.
3. Be authentic. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Avoid duplicitous talk and vague vows. Wear no masks; build no facades. Be sincere in all your conversations and genuine in all your compliments. Be the real you all the time.
4. Stay open to criticism. Since no one’s perfect—including you—remain humble and teachable to advance through your mistakes and setbacks. If you can take it on the chin without running off at the mouth, both your restraint and resolve will be duly noted and respected by others.
5. Be discreet. Gossiping and talking behind someone’s back reflects worse on you than your victim. Respecting other’s confidences builds your own trustworthy character.
6. Be professional. Know your job and be good at it. Producing outcomes without excuses and results beyond expectations shows both accountability and dependability. Grow in competence to build a stellar reputation and harvest honor.
7. Know what and why you believe, and act on it. Living and leading by a moral code shows you are committed to integrity, purpose, and responsibility. Believe in your own ideals and ideas and be able to intelligently support them in the marketplace.
8. Keep your word. Honor the integrity of your own commitments. Promptly returning phone calls and emails, consistently meeting deadlines, and intentionally delivering on all your promises not only stands out against the mediocre crowd, but also builds trust, loyalty, gratitude and esteem from your peers.
9. Champion others. No matter what the relationship, seek to add value to other people by actively supporting the right to their views and their contributions to the cause. Stand up for others, especially those who can’t for themselves.
10. Listen emphatically. Nothing speaks louder in terms of valuing other people than genuinely listening to them. Seek not to merely appear to hear, but comprehend and understand. Exuding genuine empathy is powerfully endearing, and helps you make a difference in a person’s life.
11. Be generous. People admire those who give their time, talent and resources to help them reach their goals. Be lavish with praise, bighearted in attitude, charitable with assistance and liberal in sharing.
12. Stay relentlessly positive. Maintaining a perpetually positive outlook nurtures the best results in overcoming challenges, developing relationships, evolving solutions, fulfilling potential, generating respect, and attracting reputable associates.
MasterPoint: Don’t merely yearn respect—earn it!
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