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We seek respect in our professional lives and want to gain the respect of others in the workplace. Gaining respect can sometimes come with misguided ideas about how to achieve employee respect. Once a level of mutual respect in the workplace is reached it means that there is better communication, higher morale between team members and long-lasting professional relationships with your employees. Earning your employees respect is not always easy and is something that takes time to develop. While serving on active duty as the Joint Operations Center (JOC) director for a Combined Joint Task Force in Djibouti, Africa I found myself working with individuals from multiple continents and coming from multiple cultures.  My Naval Academy education taught me much about leading troops, but having civilian experience running a real estate brokerage and real estate company gave me valuable insight in how to manage civilian employees and contractors while in Africa.  I share these insights because it is anecdotal to all managers of civilian employees.


Show humility

Every good boss should be able to admit their flaws when they have them. People generally do not respect a leader who appears to be insecure and always brings up their shortcomings. You should also be able to show some self-depreciation when it is warranted, but it should be paired with self-confidence and self-assurance.  I personally pride myself in being able to admit when I’ve made mistakes.


Be inclusive

Share things going on throughout the office with your employees. Let them know about the changes happening in the organization and how those changes might impact them. Encourage them to ask questions and stay informed about what is happening at the organization. This can be accomplished through weekly team meetings, emails, or a company-wide newsletter that can be sent to each employee.


Have patience

You might have realized that not everyone works at the same pace and each person has their own ways to adapt to new tasks and assignments. Having patience with other people you work with will demonstrate a higher level of confidence in those coworkers. People respect those who treat them well and do not fear approaching them when there are problems or issues.


Respect coworkers even if you do not like them

Respect goes a long way and if you are not respecting your coworkers, you can not expect them to respect you in return. Despite not always seeing eye to eye with each other, you must still show professional respect.


Share your knowledge with coworkers

Not only does this show your coworkers that you have confidence in them to handle new situations and things that arise in the office, but it also shows them that you respect them enough to share important information with them.


Always be professional

Whether it is a company social function at the office or off-premise, remaining professional during the event will gain any boss the respect from their team they are looking for. Work-related events are not the place to be unprofessional, say something rude or act inappropriately. If a coworker does something at a social function, be discrete and do not mention the incident to the entire office.  Praise in public and reprimand in private.