“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”
― Confucius

No matter what field you’re in, the respect of your team and colleagues is one of the most valuable assets for your success. When your team respects you, the quality of work and results are off the charts.

On the other hand, lack of respect destroys your reputation and hinders your forward momentum.

So how do you get respect?  

Research shows that we respect others based on status, competence, warmth and kindness… but it’s a continuous tight-rope of balance.

Everyone makes mistakes, and ultimately even a few slip-ups just make you more relatable as a boss and leader. But, certain traits will undermine respect, and that becomes a bottleneck for you to move forward and succeed.

Here are 7 everyday habits that cause others to lose respect for you, and how to fix it.

1. You Lack Confidence  

The most important trait of respect starts with you. Specifically, your confidence.

You need to have confidence to get respect from anyone. People who have confidence convey a sense of competence that is instantly respected.

But how do you build confidence?

The best way to change how others perceive you, is to change your perception of yourself.

The Fix 

To convey confidence, start by building your confidence in your own mind.

The best way to do this is to internalize the best version of yourself you want to be, and imitate that behaviour. Over time, as you imitate that best version of yourself, you become that person.

Focus on your strengths and watch the magic happen.

2. You’re ALWAYS Late/Too “Busy”

Being busy or late once in a while is not a big deal, and it happens to everyone. In fact, being a few minutes late might make you stand out in certain instances.

But being that person who is ALWAYS late or generally just “too cool for school” ultimately breeds resentment and mistrust.

When you’re consistently late or “too busy”, you’re essentially saying in unequivocal terms: “I do not value or respect you and your time”. And it makes people resent you, because they start to mistrust you.  

People who are always busy and late are viewed as incompetent, and your reputation goes under attack. 

The Fix

Entrepreneurial creative types tend to avoid the clock, so manage your time with yourself in mind.

One easy strategy is to  simply push your schedule with a 30-minute buffer window.

And, if you have been giving someone the ‘late/busy’ treatment, all is not lost.

One of the easiest ways to regain rapport and respect from others is to ask for advice. Because when you show others that you recognize and respect their talent, they immediately begin to regain trust and respect for you. 

3. You Look At Your Phone While Others Talk

Don’t look at your phone when someone is talking to you, it’s just bad practice and makes others furious.

If you are expecting a very important call for a deal or transfer, be sure to make it known beforehand but in most instances, put your phone away completely. 

The Fix

Turn your phone off or just stop bringing it to meetings. If you’re easily distracted, leave the laptop and just go old school with a notebook and pen instead.

People love when you take notes because it shows you’re really listening and value their input so much that you’re writing it down. Not surprisingly, when you show others respect and recognition where it’s deserved, you gain reciprocal respect.

4. You Haven’t Updated Your Closet Since College

If you think no one cares about what you’re wearing, think again.

Your clothes say a lot about who you are to others, whether you like or not. That doesn’t mean you need expensive gear, just be sure that you’re not the most casually dressed person at the table if you want to convey the status that gets immediate respect.

The Fix

Sad as it may be, you’re going to have to put away the sweatpants when it comes to working with your team.

Keep it simple with nice dress pants and a clean shirt. If the whole idea of shopping for a new wardrobe sounds mind numbingly boring, take a cue from Zuckerberg and just get multiples of the same pants and shirt to wear every day. It’s all about looking the part.

5. You Send Too Many Emails

It’s great to stay in communication with your team, but sending too many emails is just flat-out annoying. Try to avoid using email all the time. Sometimes it’s easier to have a quick conversation on the phone or even by text.

Keep in mind that sending frequent emails results in forgotten attachments, spelling errors and more. If you have important emails to send, be sure to create a draft, wait 15 minutes and then review the email before you send it.

The Fix

Simply put, think before you email. If you’re sending more than 2 emails a day, you email too much and chances are that your emails are not being read.

Instead, create drafts that you save and plan to send out after proofreading the emails at a later point in the day. Also, read this for better communication platforms to communicate with your team.

6. You Share TMI Stories

Sure, you know how to party like the best of ’em and blow off steam, but you don’t need to tell your colleagues the details of your weekend debauchery. Sharing some info about your social life is good, it helps strengthen bonds, but too much information out of context is damaging to your rep.

Keep in mind, social media is out there for everyone to see, so no posting pics of you funnelling booze either.

The Fix

Make an effort to avoid talking about personal topics while you’re at work. Stay connected with the latest industry news and show that you’re a well-rounded person. 

The BIG bonus here is that your team will relate to your ideas and start to collaborate with you on new projects.

Mad respect.

7. You Focus on “Problems”

One of the easiest ways to alienate your team is to talk about the past and problems.

The true sign of leadership is the ability to take accountability for the team (yes, even mistakes) and move momentum forward.

Leaders who gain respect know how to motivate the team to drive innovative solutions. That doesn’t mean you need all the answers or that problems shouldn’t be addressed, but be mindful of how you communicate issues or you’ll come across as generally incompetent.

The Fix

If you identify problems, think of a few solutions before you bring it up. Even a quick Google search can help you re-orient yourself to get some grounding on a problem and jot down a few ideas for solutions. This way, you’re communication focuses on solutions and shows that you are competent.

Bottom Line?

Never underestimate how important your reputation really is, because people respect status first.

If you want to get respect from others, strike a balance between status, kindness, competence and warmth – and avoid the bad habits that causes others to lose respect for you.

Steve Martel

Steve Martel is a serial 8-figures/yr business magnet, real estate mogul, millionaire philanthropist, author, educator, public figure & happily married father of 4 little munchkins under 10. His teachings and concepts have revolutionized the lives of over 100,000 entrepreneurs around the world and he has consulted 428 clients who’ve collectively created businesses worth over $560 million in the last 5 years alone.