20 Ways to Gain the Respect you Deserve


The danger of disrespect is disconnection. You cannot connect with someone you don’t respect.

The power of respect is loyalty.

Leaders receive respect because of position, but lose it because of behavior. Earning it back requires sweat and patience.

10 Ways to lose respect:

  1. Act like you know when you don’t.
  2. Keep a bus handy to throw people under.
  3. Refuse advice.
  4. Run from tough calls.
  5. Flop like a fish on the dock.
  6. Refuse to change your mind.
  7. Listen only as long as you like what you hear.
  8. Kiss-up and kick-down.
  9. Prioritize personal advantage.
  10. Massage the message to manipulate.

20 Ways to Gain Respect

  1. Live with an open hand rather than a clenched fist.
  2. Demand more from yourself than you demand from others.
  3. Expect excellence.
  4. Push for results while building relationships.
  5. Courageously take on challenges with others.
  6. Let others speak for themselves. Don’t report for subordinates. Bring them to the meeting.
  7. Apologize. “I was wrong,” builds more respect than, “I told you so.”
  8. Know and acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses.
  9. Respect the strengths of others.
  10. Invite correction, suggestion, and advice. Be a learn-it-all, not a know-it-all.
  11. Associate with the front-line, not just top dogs.
  12. Don’t work too hard to be liked. The secret to being liked is liking others. Everyone sees the weakness in neediness.
  13. Practice kindness. Tough doesn’t have to be harsh. Strength can be tender.
  14. Take issues seriously. Avoid being off-handed or minimizing challenges.
  15. Smile, even as you take things seriously. Pessimism never earns respect.
  16. Ask, “What’s important?”
  17. Make tough calls after listening but without apology.
  18. Exercise personal transparency before candor.
  19. Ask, “Am I proud of myself for acting this way?”
  20. Ask, “Does this make my team proud of me?”

Bonus: Ask questions before making statements.

Which respect building behaviors do you find most important?

What should be added to the lists of how to lose or gain respect?

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