Three Ways to Get The Respect You Deserve at Work
By: Courtney Clark
Employee appreciation is a critical piece of workplace culture and interpersonal relationships between bosses and employees.
Workplace appreciation is a tricky thing: sometimes managers pay more attention to the squeaky wheels than the hard workers. Sometimes employees feel weird asking to be acknowledged for a job well done. And sometimes bosses think a paycheck is thanks enough.
We perform better when we feel appreciated, so it’s okay to need (and ask for!) the respect you deserve. Just be sure to ask the right way, so it doesn’t come across as needy or complaining. These three conversation makeovers will help you know exactly what to say to get the appreciation you need.
“I would appreciate it if you would look at the proposal I sent and give me feedback, so I can proceed.”
“Sorry, but can you please look at my proposal?”
Save your sorries for when the situation calls for it! Recent studies reveal women, in particular, apologize for things that don’t need to be apologized for. When you say “I’m sorry,” simply for interrupting your manager’s time, it can be perceived as a sign that their time isn’t worth being spent on you. There’s no need to apologize for asking for a moment of your manager’s time in order to get your work done. Phrase your request in a strong but polite way, and you’ll be commanding respect.
“Actually, the X Project has my calendar completely full right now. If you’d like me to take on this new task, let’s discuss which priorities you want me to put on the back burner.”
“What? I thought you were going to ask someone else to do that. <huff> I mean, sure, of course I can do it. You know me.”
It’s tempting to feel taken advantage of if it seems like you’re always getting tapped for extra work, but your boss might be turning to you because you aren’t making it clear how busy you already are. We often think that our employers know exactly how much work we’re balancing – they’re the ones who gave it to us, after all! And if we make that assumption, then when they pile more work on, we feel unappreciated, like “don’t I do enough around here?!?!” If you are asked to take on more work than your schedule allows, speak up and be clear. No bonus points for passive aggressively taking more work on and feeling unappreciated!
“I’m really pleased with the work I did on the X Project. I’d love your feedback so I can see if my evaluation of the work is accurate.”
Nothing, and hope your good work gets recognized come promotion time.
It’s okay to toot your own horn when it’s well deserved! We sometimes assume our higher-ups should notice our successes, and then we get frustrated if they don’t acknowledge them. But managers are human, and sometimes they forget or don’t realize how much their feedback would mean to you. So ask! You deserve not only the recognition, but also their guidance on anything that would have made your work even better.
We all need respect to enjoy our jobs, so speak up with confidence and say these three things. The odds are good that your boss respects you and just forgets to say it, so ask to be appreciated and hopefully it will come your way.
Courtney Clark provides content-based motivation that helps individuals adapt faster, achieve more, and develop Accelerated Resilience™. She is the author of two books “The Giving Prescription,” and "The Successful Struggle," a three-time cancer survivor, brain aneurysm survivor, keynote speaker, and founder of a nonprofit. www.CourtneyClark.com