5 phrases to Gain Respect at Work

People tend to want it all, financial security, a life of purpose, deep love and devotion, and to leave their mark on the world. Study after study shows us that while those are the basic needs that drive people in their daily lives, what most are seeking is respect. In fact, according to one study, happiness is not defined by financial success but rather by the respect and admiration of our peers. So the question then becomes, how do we earn the respect of our coworkers and colleagues at work? The answer is steeped in the concept of emotional intelligence.  

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to regulate and manage your emotions in any situation, as well as manage the emotions of others. This includes identifying and naming your feelings and the power to channel them positively while applying them to real-life situations. Those of us that have a high emotional intelligence score know how to navigate the workplace so that we garner the respect of our coworkers.

There are techniques that you can use to train others to treat you with respect. Keep in mind that there are three branches of respect: respect of self, respect for others, and respect of others. Each one begets the next. Let’s deep dive into this aspect of emotional intelligence so you can make the year 2023 one where you feel seen, heard, and respected by your colleagues!

Respect in the workplace is built on three basic understandings:

  1. People respect those that demonstrate self-respect.
  2. People are less likely to disrespect people who respect them.
  3. The language we use when we speak is how we communicate respect for ourselves and for those around us.

With the above mentioned in mind, here are five phrases that those with high emotional intelligence tend to use to garner the respect of others and capture their attention subliminally.

1. I can do what you asked, on the condition that…:

Every conversation is a give-and-take. Those with high emotional intelligence understand that asking for something in return only has an upside, even if you were willing to do what you were being asked without gaining something in exchange.

The size of the ask is irrelevant, for example:

  • I’d love to join the group. Can we stop by my friend’s place first?
  • I’m happy to help you with that task, but I’ll need you to do the same for me when I ask.

These two statements exemplify how to inspire respect from others by leveraging their impatience to reach an agreement. In addition, people respect honesty and directness. When you ask for something you need or want, those around you will respect you for being direct and honest about your needs.

2. Thanks for the offer, but I’d rather do something else:

This small but simple phrase has a lot of power. The variables don’t matter. What matters is that you are being clear and direct, two traits people respect without a second thought. This statement also helps to diffuse a situation in a polite manner, something that is important to learn in the workplace.

It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is. It can be as mundane as “I’d rather go for sushi instead” to more serious matters, like negotiating terms for a business deal. Emotionally intelligent people understand that this statement leverages a person’s emotional need to be heard and understood along with their desire to accommodate another’s needs.

3. I disagree:

Emotionally intelligent people understand the value of honesty and why it’s important to be direct when disagreeing. Keep in mind you can disagree while still being reasonable. This is a necessary trait to master in the workplace if you want those around you to respect your opinion. You show others that you’re bold enough to speak your mind and believe your opinion carries value. Yet, you’re open-minded enough to understand that you can disagree but commit. As Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon so eloquently puts it, those three words leverage apprehension and encourage respect in every environment.

4. I’d like to ask you…

There is no negative way to end this sentence. This sentence will always inspire respect because you show the other person you value and respect them. That’s why you are asking them something.

When you ask someone something, it demonstrates that you have respect for their opinion, talent, skill, etc…so you are gaining respect via flattery, and everyone likes to be flattered.

5. Here’s the deal…

You demonstrate leadership qualities when you are the one to come up with a plan or proposal. This gives you, the initiator, the chance to set the rules and tone for what follows while allowing the other person to react.

In negotiations, those with high emotional intelligence know that being the one to come up with the first draft of an agreement leverages the other person’s desire to settle things and be seen as agreeable, which inspires respect from others.

When you want to acquire the respect of others, it all comes down to how you respect yourself and communicate. This especially holds true in all workplace environments, where everyone wants to be respected and heard. No matter if you’re in your home office, virtual office, or in the office.

Opus Virtual Offices has over 650 locations nationwide. We offer inbound and outbound call transfer, live reception, digital mail sort, and business credit-building support. We have state-of-the-art meeting rooms when collaborative work is necessary too. The next time you’re together with your coworkers, try to use one of these five statements to flex your emotional intelligence muscle and earn your coworker’s respect.

Posted on January 11, 2023 by Melanie Rauch

Opus Virtual Offices

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