The idea of being both well-respected and well-liked sounds like a dream, one that is not easy to achieve and often unattainable. Those that are thought of as well-respected are also often thought of as intimidating or unapproachable. This does not have to be true!

Here are some tips on how you can earn respect from your peers and coworkers without ruffling feathers or burning bridges.

Underpromise and overdeliver

Taken from Tom Peters’ book In Search of Excellence, the idea that it is better to be conservative when promising outcomes to give yourself the opportunity to do your best work and perhaps overachieve, is both controversial and valid.

“With an explosion of competitors, many of them new and without track records, reliability, rather than overly aggressive promises, is the most valuable strategic edge, especially for the mid- to long-haul. While getting faster at responding to customers is imperative, living up to commitments has never been worth more.”

Be Appreciative

No one likes the guy who takes all the credit when he simple didn’t do it all on his own. Those who are respected among their colleagues know when to give appreciation where it is due. Leaders who have earned respect regularly exercise the following:

  • Acknowledging the work of their employees
  • Adding personal touches like hand written letters
  • Showing raise in both private and public settings
  • Cultivating a culture of gratitude and mutual respect

Most importantly, when praising and appreciating, it must be sincere for it to be effective.

Humble Start to Finish

Humility is one of the most important traits that many successful leaders all share. When team leaders and members are humble, they can more easily call upon each other for help, learn from each other, and gain the power to use those lessons to better themselves and those they later encounter in need of humility training.