Respect is a two way street. It can't be purchased at any price, it can only be earned. Respect comes from never asking someone to do something that you haven't done, or wouldn't do yourself. It comes from being consistent; standing firm in your beliefs. People won't follow or believe in anyone who keeps changing their mind on the issues. You will never gain respect if you say one thing with your mouth and your actions do not follow the same course.

Many leaders and managers today don't praise their people enough. Many don't praise at all. When you are at work and doing things right, nobody notices. Only when you do something wrong do you hear about it. Intimidation does not win respect, loud aggressive people try to force you to respect them, however, in most cases it only instills a sense of fear, unless their words are backed with the same actions. I can only think of one work place where this can be seen to work and that is the Drill Instructor on the Parade Ground within a military establishment. This is done not to intimidate but to instil discipline, the drill instructor requires you to react in a certain way in a certain sequence and in a certain time frame. The result is not only a massed unison of movement with everyone in step moving as one but also translates to the battle field. The discipline installed on the parade ground makes you react on the battle field to the orders given. Why does this work so effectively, the answer is simple, any drill instructor will react exactly the same way as you are required to react if another drill instructor is barking the orders. There is no conflict the words are mirrored in their actions. Another very important factor is you will never see the criticism displayed in public, if you foul up the fall out happens away from the public eye, if you match the drill instructors expectations of you the praise is given, in training this is instant, in public displays this is saved and done in private. Not only has discipline been installed but also pride in yourself and you performance as well as respect for your instructor. You learn to respect yourself knowing that your job has been well done. One important lesson here is that you will only gain the amount of respect according to the same measure of respect that you have for yourself. If you do not respect yourself how can others respect you.

Strong praise as well as damaging criticism can stay with you for weeks, months or even years.

Top Performance by Zig Ziglar gives two important insights into treating people properly.

  1. "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care about them!"
  2. "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want!"

Always remember that everybody is a human being and respect their decisions even if you know they are wrong. They have as much right to live their lives as you do and they can live it whatever way they choose as long as this does not harm someone else. When I worked in one job we had a saying that the customer is always right. If you don't like the customers decision that is your fault not theirs, this is the same in relationships as well as work.

If you try to change somebody's decision and or feelings then it is up to you to keep that decision or feeling alive and just as you want it, you will have to live their life for them. If they make the decision to follow what you say then it is their responsibility not yours.

Everybody is an individual, a human being, whether they are male or female, whatever their creed or colour, we all have the right to choose how to live our own life, it is a personal decision and be assured I will honor that decision whatever it maybe. Your attitude should be I cannot and will not influence your decision or force you down a path that you do not wish to take. I will simply and purely give you the facts as I see them and it is up to you to decide what to do with them. Every single person has their own free will that is what makes us human and places us on a higher level than animals. What we do with that free will, will determine how much respect we gain from others.

People will follow and respect you if your actions correspond to your words. Praise should always be given instantly for a job well done and criticism given in private away from others. Someone who keeps their knowledge to themselves, saying, this is my job i am not telling you how to do it does not win respect, those who share that knowledge do.

You are responsible for you and only you.
Learn to be as relaxed with others as you are when you are by yourself.
You only have to change a little to gain so much.