Every job has its stars: those employees who stand out, go the extra mile and are widely respected.
What sets such people apart goes far deeper than outer characteristics.
In fact, the habits of those who are highly respected at work connect right to the heart of what it means to succeed in life.
1) Showing up on time
The importance of punctuality can’t be overstated.
When somebody shows up on time and does so consistently, they gain the respect of their coworkers and superiors.
Knowing that a colleague will show up when they say they will greatly increases trust of them and makes their word into gold.
Punctuality is a key part of gaining respect at work.
2) Performing consistently
There are those who do a great job on some days and just slack off on other days.
The one who gains respect and admiration is the one who consistently performs.
The partner or colleague who’s a rockstar one day and slouching around the next day tends to get people annoyed.
That’s why consistent performance is so key.
3) Valuing the contributions of others
Have you ever worked for somebody who gives you a pat on the shoulder or tells you that you’re doing a great job?
It’s a very pleasant feeling!
It also motivates you to continue doing a solid job and improve.
Those who recognize the contributions of others are always popular and admired at their place of work.
4) Actively listening to what colleagues say
Active listening is hearing every word that other people say, along with actually paying attention to why they’re saying it.
Bosses and coworkers who don’t listen or ignore the real meaning of what’s being asked of them or stated are invariably disliked.
Deep listening and truly caring what somebody is saying are key traits of a popular and well-liked person in every type of job.
5) Having a big picture philosophy about why work is being done and its end goal
We’ve all experienced working with two basic types of people:
Those who actually care about the job and those who don’t give a sh*t.
Granted, some jobs are better and more enjoyable than others, but it’s easy to tell when somebody is not truly invested in the goal of the job.
That’s why caring about the actual goal of the job and performing well invariably gain somebody real respect on the job.
This ties into the next point…
6) Caring about the common good not just self-interest
Those who care about their coworkers and their work gain a lot of respect.
Those who are just in it for themselves or short-term gain are seen as snakes.
There’s good reason for this:
The success of many ventures depends on people who actually care about their team, which is part of why corporate training emphasizes this so much.
But real teams always take real people, not just corporate rhetoric, which is why those who care about the common good are such a crucial part of any business.
7) Improving competency and skills out of genuine desire
Many jobs require training and improvement as part of the requirements.
But those who are highly respected have a habit of learning new skills and improving on their own.
They do so voluntarily, because they care and sometimes because they actually like the job itself as well.
This not only shows dedication, these skill upgrades also make them a much greater asset to their teammates, bosses and clients.
8) Caring about your coworkers as human beings not just economic units
Those who garner true respect at work treat their coworkers as human beings, not just numbers.
This is especially true of those in positions of authority.
It’s clear when a boss is just using you, and it tends to lessen respect.
Superiors who actually appreciate you and want you to succeed are in another league: they win real respect and devotion.
9) Boosting morale and encouraging colleagues when they get burned out
We all get burned out at work from time to time.
Those who become leaders and widely respected are often the cheerleaders.
They have a habit of boosting morale and bringing everyone up when times are tough.
If the bottom line is looking shaky, they stay optimistic or suggest improvements.
They are always willing to rally the troops and it’s in their nature to do so.
10) Having clear boundaries about what you do and don’t tolerate
Clear boundaries are essential in every industry.
When somebody has clear boundaries and enforces them, they gain respect.
It could be as simple as asking that you knock before entering their office, or as simple as sticking to holidays regardless of what comes up and not giving into cajoling to work extra time.
This gains respect.
Limits are limits!
11) Not seeking out the spotlight or focusing on self-glorification
Even the most talented person will lose respect on the job if he or she is a showboat.
Ego-driven folks lose respect at work very quickly, because they are irritating and their ego gets in the way of performance.
By contrast, those who put the job and wellbeing of the team first are always much more respected and looked up to.
12) Admitting mistakes and being honest about their weaknesses
When somebody messes up on the job, it’s very frustrating if they deny it or try to pretend it never happened.
Honesty and being transparent is better for everyone and for the sake of the company.
That’s why those who fess up to their mistakes right away and try to correct them are always more respected and looked up to.
13) Focusing on the path forward instead of blame when something goes wrong
Admitting mistakes is key, but another habit that’s necessary for real respect on the job is a forward-looking perspective.
Those who try to blame and focus on what went wrong quickly become a black hole and a negative drain on everyone’s energy.
By contrast, those who focus on the next step and correcting whatever happened are much more respected and effective in any vocational role.
14) Learning lessons from failure and struggle instead of complaining
When failure does happen, people respond in many different ways.
The respected individual responds to failure by learning any lessons it may offer and adjusting his or her approach.
This gains them the respect of all on the job and leads to much greater teamwork and desire of others to work with this person.
15) The ability to mediate conflicts and misunderstandings between management and employees
When there’s a disagreement between management and employees, there’s always that one guy or girl who’s willing to mediate and be a bridge.
He or she gains the deep and abiding respect of everyone else.
They make work a better place to be and help avoid conflicts that can spin out of control, including things like strikes or internal revolts at companies.
16) Patience with those who are slower or more easily confused
Everyone moves at different speeds.
The well respected person at work is patient and understanding with those who move at a slower speed.
They respond patiently and are able to adjust their approach accordingly and help this person out in whatever way they need.
17) Discernment of the top skills of those around them and where they’re best suited
Those who gain really high respect at work are experts at spotting talent.
They can see their colleagues’ potential and they can also see when somebody’s struggling and would be better suited to a different department or type of role.
This type of savvy discernment makes somebody a very valuable teammate, boss and colleague.
18) The willingness and ability to evolve and change with the job and with the market
Every job and industry changes.
With the rapid progress of technology it’s changing even more quickly than ever!
Those who gain true respect and have high value are always changing together with the job and the market.
They don’t get lost in the past nor do they cling to bygone nostalgia.
As I wrote, they are always learning new skills and they are ready to adapt to what’s coming without complaint.
A work in progress
We play different roles in different areas of our lives.
But work is just as much a part of us as our personal life and our relationships.
Who we are at work carries through to our private life, and vice versa.
By cultivating these habits you become a valuable asset to everyone around you and especially to yourself!
We’re all works in progress, but each day we have the chance to hone the kinds of healthy habits that make us stronger, better and more fulfilled.