Gaining Respect

August 17th, 2013 @   -  One Comment

Take a moment and think of someone you respect. Why do you respect them? What qualities do they have? Why do some people naturally gain respect, while others have to demand it? Are you doing the right things to win others’ respect? How can you naturally earn respect? Here are a few suggestions:

Communicate with respect

Communicating with respect means speaking gently, listening to what others have to say and accepting that they may have a different point of view. By contrast, yelling, interrupting others while they are speaking, cutting people off before they have finished expressing a thought, reprimanding or criticizing someone in the presence of others or telling profanity and offensive jokes indicate disrespect. Only when you communicate with respect will people respect you in return.

Respect of other people’s time – Don’t make others wait for you.

This seems fairly simple, right? Are you not bothered when others are late in meeting you? Most of us are! Being sensitive to other people’s time means showing up to appointments, work, meetings or events on time. Being on time demonstrates that you are dependable, you honor your commitments and you have respect for other people’s time. On the other hand, lack of punctuality is a theft of someone else’s time. In organizations or societies where people do not respect others’ time, you find their events or meetings seldom start on time, projects are never completed on time and are often over budget, their public transports rarely arrive or depart on time, and so on. This makes life hard for everyone.

Be congruent – Practice what you preach

Are what you say and what you do the same?  There is nothing more confusing than a person who gives good advice but sets a bad example. Respect is demonstrated in the little actions we do daily. And actions always speak louder than words. Andrew Carnegie once wrote, “As I grow older, I pay less attention to what people say. I watch what they do.” The more your actions are aligned with your words, the more respect you gain.

Practice humility and mercy

How do you treat those from whom you have nothing to gain? How do you treat people who are weaker than you? This treatment says a lot about you. When you show respect for these kinds of people, others will notice it and you earn their respect. In fact, humility is an indicator of confidence and strength whereas rudeness and arrogance are signs of weakness and insecurity. As someone once said, “We come nearest to great when we are great in humility.”

The Prophet (PBUH) showed an excellent example of humility. It was reported that he used to help his family members in their household duties, tie camels and feed animals.  It was also reported that he used to visit the sick, attend funerals, slow down his pace for the sake of the weak and accept invitations from the poor. He used to sit with his companions like an ordinary man. Strangers who came to meet him could not identify him from among the group until he was introduced to them. He (PBUH) said, “Whoever fails to show mercy to our children and honor to our elders is not from us” (Al Tirmithi).

Exhibit courage – Speak up                   

When the popular choice is not the right choice, are you willing to go against the current? Are you willing to put your job on the line or jeopardize a big promotion for what you believe in?   When you stand alone for your values despite criticism and when you have the courage to do what is right instead of what is most convenient and popular, you earn the respect of others. Throughout time, people who stood up for what they believed in have been held in high regard. As someone put it, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

“When people respect you as a person, they admire you. When they respect you as a friend, they love you. When they respect you as a leader, they follow you.” John C. Maxwell

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One Comment → “Gaining Respect”

  1. Ayub

    4 years ago

    Can one way of gaining respect be answering messages from people?


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