How to make people respect you

11 Subtle but Powerful ways to Gain Respect in Workplace

Gaining respect in workplace is critical for your career.
Learn 11 subtle and “not so obvious tactics” used by savvy professionals.
Understand how to make people respect you quickly.

Career Coaching by Needlemover

Take a look at people around you and then take a look at your own behavior. See what everyone is chasing. You will quickly realize that the things society respects play a big role in your choices. 

“Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” – Confucius

You get the feel of the power of respect in human relationships. How it influences our lives. 

It is no surprise that each one of us craves respect.

Respect in life … Respect in workplace! 

Our professional and career choices are molded by what we see as a respected vocation or career path in the society that we live in.  It often influences your process of how you choose your career. It drives your career aspirations. And it plays a big role in your long-term career goals!

Have you given thought to your own craving to gain respect in workplace and in life? 

How to make people respect you? How to gain respect from others? 

11 “Not So Obvious” things that Gain Respect in Workplace for you

A few things about human behavior are time-tested and regularly experienced. Judging others is one of them.

According to Forbes, it takes merely a tenth of a second for people to make a judgement about traits like believability and trustworthiness.

In 7 seconds of meeting you, they will have built a solid perception of who you are, for themselves!

You invariably take a fraction of a second to make a strong first judgment of others. It is obvious then that others are doing the same about you.

Have you thought about what made you respect some people? … Especially those who did not have any big distinction for themselves through their achievements? Have you wondered why this respect was important at workplace?

Let us take it one step further.

Do you also observe that many of those who are powerful and proven may have failed to attract your respect? 

So, what are the subtle but powerful things at play here that make people respect you? 

The idea here is that you can understand them first. Then use them to your advantage. 

Once you know them, you simply need to make small changes to your behavior. You will experience others treating you with more respect. 

Let us see what they are.


1. Tune-up how you appear

You can imagine why billions of dollars are spent on products and services that make you look sharp.

Do you think they are a waste of money and time?

If so, it is time to re-think!

Imagine how you feel when you stand in front of that mirror after your haircut or that exercise session.

Think of how it feels, when you see someone decked up well. You feel fresh and enthusiastic to be around them, right?

Unknowingly, you have built a certain level of respect for them.

Have you thought of giving the same feeling to others too, with your appearance?

2. Reduce the “I” in communication

Have you observed that all of us have an innate need to prove ourselves?

Generally, it is about proving yourself to someone superior to you.

Studies show that …

You will use “I” much more if you are talking to someone whom you consider better or more powerful than you.

Time to tame down this instinct.

It will suddenly make others, especially superiors in the workplace, view you as a confident person.

A subtle but powerful way to gain respect in workplace, isn’t it?

3. How about being more curious?

Workplaces are supposed to be filled with people who care about “what is in it for me?”

Who cares what you do or what you are going through? Except for your boss maybe 🙂

Understand this situation. Start using open-ended questions. Then simply listen. Probe more if you are genuinely interested in knowing more.

For you, it is a simple thing to do. But for your colleagues it is big!

When you work on being more interested, you become more interesting!

The subtle feeling of care that you convey, will make others respect you more.

Besides, you may just know many valuable things about your coworkers and your company!

4. Sharpen how you dress up

This adds to the first point. But, it is important to mention it separately.

So many people wear good clothes, but few know how to wear them well!

It makes a world of difference in how others perceive you.

It can be the difference between them viewing you as disciplined and thorough. Or you coming across them as careless and irresponsible.

5. Are you always available? Please don’t …

Overcome the need to respond to others.

Why do you need to reply to those WhatsApp messages so quickly? Why do you always need to share your opinions or nod?

Are you afraid that it can make you come across as uninterested?

Overcome this tendency and the fear. It can be uncomfortable at first. But gradually you will get used to it.

For a second, think about anyone who always seems to be available.

Do you really respect that person? Do you remember how may have taken him or her for granted at times?

If you are always and quickly available to others, they may feel and do the same for you.

Build some scarcity about you. Respect yourself and your time a bit more. People will feel it and start respecting you more.

6. Bank on your authenticity

It starts with “accepting” that you can’t please everyone. Yes, you know this, but have you accepted it completely?

Here is a powerful insight for you –

All of us, including you, respect a few, whom we don’t admire!

It is more important to be respected than to be liked. Respect is about trust and credibility. When it comes to getting things done and making things happen, respect and trust are your pillars.

So, be fearless about being yourself when with others. Just ensure that it is not hurting or demeaning others.

7. How about speaking less?

Have you seen that the achievers seem to have a lesser need to talk? It seems to be the case with most of those who have been there and done it.

Where is it coming from? It is their confidence and calmness.

Do they seem more respectable? Do their words catch more attention? – The answer is a big “Yes”.

So, why not play this knowledge to your advantage? Can you talk a bit less?

It can present you as a confident individual who is calm and composed. You will appear more thoughtful and deep.

You will be heard more and respected more.

It will keep others curious about you. At the same time, you are giving them more chances to speak up.

This amps your chances to learn more about them.

8. Take it a bit slow

Earn more time for you to think, plan and act.

Observe the way you move, talk, and interact. Are you being a bit fast? At times do you feel that you are in a bit of a rush, for no reason?

Being a bit slow can make you a lot faster in gaining respect in workplace. Your colleagues will feel more comfortable around you.

When you can come across as a bankable individual, why risk yourself being seen as a headless chicken?

Besides, the extra fraction of a second that you earn by being a tad slow, will help you make a ton of better decisions.

Remember, even the tiny and seemingly insignificant instinctive decision to eat that extra piece of cake can leave a big impression on others about your self-control!

9. Master your “No”

It is about setting up your boundaries and respecting them. It is about realizing that life is in-deed short for the levels in life and career that you want to reach!

You want to use your mind and time in the best possible way. You want to focus on the things that you really want to do.

The real joy, your best performances, and the eventual respect you gain from others happen because of this mindfulness.

But saying no is difficult. It is an art in itself. You can do it subtly and gracefully.

Stop the people-pleasing business. Realize that you can say no without hurting others. It adds big time to your authenticity and hence to the respect for you.

Remember that this is a skill you want to develop if you want to build your authority at workplace!

10. Help others only when it makes sense

“Offer help” is a tip that is almost frivolously given and accepted as valuable a career tip. But it can come back to bite you, as others will feel that you are shallow or emotionally needy of approval from others.

So, ask yourself –

Do you need to please everyone? Do others really need your help when you are offering it to them? Are you adding any real value in that transaction? And finally .. .is it really helping them?

It will clear your head. You will become more aware of yourself and the impression you are creating around.

This also gives you more and better opportunities to help others where you can make a real difference. It is here that you build real respect … It is here that you bring some impact!

11. More Respect is about more Space

When others respect you, they are literally giving more space in their minds for you.

Interestingly enough, what happens in the mind also happens in the real world.

Give more space to others and get more space for yourself too! It builds respect.

Whether you sit or stand or move, use more space. No need to adjust yourself unnecessarily. Claim the space you need and want.

It creates a vibe of self-respect and confidence around you!

If anyone is around you, give a bit of extra space to them. There is a level of reciprocity in it!

So, how will you earn the respect of your colleagues?

By now, you know the subtle but powerful things that gain respect in the workplace for you. But these things work only when you do the obvious things well!

When we say the “obvious things” we are referring to applying yourself well for the role you have been hired for and being a strong team player.

Let us take our attention to a few things which are obvious but you forget. They always make people respect you. But you have not consciously worked on them.

The best part is, that these things also make you happier and more productive. We will cover them in our next article. Stay tuned!

3 Articles That Will Help You Earn Respect at Workplace

1. Top 22 Skills in Employees that Employers Genuinely Love

2. How to Explain Yourself Clearly and Effectively

3. How to Identify Your Strengths – A Comprehensive Guide



Career Coaching” and “Fresher Interview Questions” are immensely helpful for ambitious freshers and professionals who want to achieve steep growth in their careers. Explore these sections if you are one of them!

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