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Gaining respect from others

The word ‘respect’ actually means to ‘look again’. so in order to make other people ‘look again’ at us, the first person we need to treat with respect is ourselves. If we don’t respect ourselves it is for sure that nobody else will. I believe we have to do 4 things to get respect from others and they are listed below:

Step One: Use appropriate verbal communication

We are totally and utterly responsible for the words that come out of our mouths so make sure that the words you choose are powerful rather powerless. We tend to defer to people by putting a question mark at the end of our sentences – so

1. Make statements rather than ask questions

Driving up to a motorway service station a few years ago I found myself saying to my husband ‘Are you hungry?’ He said ‘No’ and we then travelled on for miles more! The next time I found myself in the same situation I said to my husband: ‘I’m hungry. I’d like to stop.’We are totally and utterly responsible for the words that come out of your mouths, so make sure the words you choose are powerful rather than powerless.

2. Get rid of inanities

Stop using words that lose us power and mean nothing:

OK, alright, in a manner of speaking, to be perfectly honest, bless, just a tad

3. Don’t put yourself down

‘It’s only my opinion, but . . .’

‘probably this has been discussed before, but . . .’

‘for my sins’

4.Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself.

When you’ve done something wrong or something stupid, acknowledge it.

Other people will love you for being a human being. For the managers among you if you do something wrong and acknowledge it, it gives your colleagues the opportunity to know that they also can share problems with you.

So now that we’ve thought through the appropriate words to come out of our mouths, we now have to think about how we look when we say them

Step 2: Use appropriate non-verbal communication

Those of you that have attended my seminars will know that at some stage we discuss Professor Mahrabian’s theory. We have to take it with a big pinch of salt but I still believe that there is a lot of truth in it. Professor Mahrabian says that when you make an impression on people and want to get their respect then 55 % of your presentation persona will be the way that you use your body, 38% will be the tone of your voice and that leaves 7% for the content. Horrifying!

But if he’s right then my advice is:

1. Use your space

Open up and be powerful. command the space – whether it’s in a presentation or speaking at a meeting. Stand tall, centred with a golden thead pulling your head up to the ceiling.

2. Keep head upright

When you’re in a meeting and things are going horribly wrong. Don’t let people know. Keep your head up – don’t look down at your hands and don’t cock your head.

3. Smile appropriately

When I first started my business 27 years ago I loved to recite the following adage:

‘Women smile to please. Men smile when pleased.’ I do think we’ve got a lot better over the years

but I still come across a lot of women who smile too much and men who never smile.

Make sure you smile because that’s how we build rapport with people – but make sure the smile is wiped off your face in serious situations.

4. Use eye contact

In our society we don’t like it when people don’t look us in the eye. We have loads of adjective to describe it – a few – dishonest, lying, insincere, arrogant. So if you want to get respect from other people it’s important to make them feel that you are really listening to them – so look them in the eye and build rapport.

5. Don’t fiddle

Fiddling is a giveaway signal that we are nervous, uncomfortable, frightened. So make sure you come across calm and confident. don’t fiddle with necklaces, rings, cuffs, hair. I once watched a colleague having a tough time in a meeting. For an hour she bent and straightened a paper clip.

I wanted to reach out and grab it. It was a dead giveaway that she was terrified.

6. Strong handshake

How many times have you had a wet fish placed into your hand? You have an immediate impression of that person don’t you? If you want other people to take note of you then make sure that your handshake is strong and firm.

It’s all very well thinking through the appropriate words that you want to use and the appropriate way you use you body, voice and eyes but in order to gain respect from other you need to do the third thing:

Step three: Follow through with the correct behaviour

A personal family story of mine perfectly illustrates this.

My son was the most delightful baby and child until he reached the age of 14 and he changed overnight. I used to say to him:

‘Liam I’m going to work now and I have a lot of people waiting for me in a seminar so I don’t want to be late. Can you please have your bags packed and be ready for school in 10 minutes. Needless to say 10 minutes later I was ready to leave and Liam still hadn’t packed his bags and hadn’t even cleaned his teeth. I was late and stressed – yet again.

It took me a lot of courage and determination to eventually say this:

Liam – I’ve asked you to be ready for school and you’re obviously not – so I’m leaving now and I’ll see you this evening.’

I can tell you that the next day his bags were packed and he was ready for school and I wasn’t late again! In other words if you don’t follow through with the correct behaviour you will never have the respect of your colleagues, peer and family.

Step Four: Be persistent

The final step is that you have to be persistent. If you now know what you have to do in order to get respect from people – then you have to keep practising. I have to tell you that people aren’t going to like you for it. They don’t want you to change. They like the status quo. They’re going to hope you forget these techniques and go back to how you were before.

If you know that there are people in your business and personal life whose respect you would like to have then follow through these four steps, keep practising them and feel good about yourself when you see them’ look again.’

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