Earning Respect in the Workplace

Maya Angelou, a great American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist once said that before you die, one should self-reflect on what people say about you is critical to how you lived your life.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ~ Maya Angelou

Angelou says that when you do what is right, people will talk about you with upmost respect. On the other hand, if you are not ethical or respectful of others then your legacy will only be remembered in a negative light. Watch and pass on her words of wisdom…



RESPECT… How your co-workers ‘FEEL’ about your agency, reflects how well your agency runs from within.


Definition of Respectful Workplace:

A respectful workplace is a safe place of employment where employees are valued, recognized, treated fairly, have clear expectations, and work harmoniously.


7 Ways to Strengthen a Respectful Workplace Culture:

  1. Treat Everyone Fairly. This means that you will treat everyone within the organization with courtesy, politeness, and kindness.  Take time to personally ‘connect’ with the person who is speaking to you. When you connect with others, you are showing that you ‘value’ what they are saying.

When someone is talking to you, put your cell phone down.


  1. Encourage positive dialogue with co-workers to express opinions and ideas. Listen to what others are saying, and acknowledge them for speaking up. Open communication, open office doors, and open ears to everyone’s opinions can make an agency “Good to Great.”

Discourage negative banter and complaining around the water cooler.


  1. Be aware of your body language when engaging with others. This includes your tone of voice, your demeanor, and your interaction with coworkers. Do not interrupt others when they are speaking.

Add smiling and positive body language when others are speaking to you


  1. Do not mock others or condone rumors to spread within your agency. Co-workers are always listening to what you’re saying in addition to listening to your words.

Minimize using profanity as part of your daily conversation with others.


  1. Treat all coworkers the same no matter their race, religion, gender, size, age, sexual orientation, and so on. When you treat everyone fairly, it is easy to relate to everyone with empathy, compassion, and walk in their shoes. Treating others differently can constitute harassment within your agency and should not be tolerated.

Learn to observe others instead of judging them.


  1. Bullying, entitlement, and demeaning others can crush a department. Do not nit-pick, criticize others over little things, belittle, or patronize. A series of seemingly trivial actions can add up over time as a type of Bullying.

Jokes and Pranks can be the stone that causes the glass house to break into a million pieces. Don’t be that person that brings your agency down.


  1. Praise more than criticize. Encourage others to share their thanks and gratitude with others. Supervisors, be sure to acknowledge good deeds of your employees, as praise can go a long way in building morale.

Be an Inspirational Leader and Mentor to others.


Respect in the workplace is a cornerstone of meaningful and professional work being achieved within any organization. RITE Leadership helps reinforce a respectful workplace using a simple 3-step process.


Step 1: Emotional Intelligence – Teaching everyone to look from within and address how they are first treating themselves through the education of emotional awareness, behavioral self-control, and integrity ownership.


Step 2: Social Intelligence – Teaching enhanced interactions with others through situational awareness, avoiding block-out syndrome, empathy communication, and conflict management.


Step 3: Racial Intelligence – Treating everyone fairly, while treating yourself fairly. Addressing your own hot buttons, and implicit bias. Bias-free engagement within the agency and community strengthens RESPECT.

Reinforcing to your command staff that the department culture is to treat others fairly as they wish to be treated. Start 2019 in the right direction by strengthening a Respectful Workplace culture sharing these steps above, while documenting that department is receiving on-going leadership training.


RITE Academy, LLC is currently booking calendar dates for 2019. Contact us for more information