It won’t surprise you that trust is often quoted as one of the most essential factors in personal and professional success. But this is only the starting point. There is a much higher level to aim for that will boost your personal and business success:

The RESPECTED Professional

“How do I achieve that?” I hear you say. Let’s start by looking at trust.

Trust greases the wheels of human relationships. According to the authors of best-selling book ‘The Speed of Trust’ by Covey/Merrill, when trust is present, things happen faster, relationships are formed quickly and things tend to proceed relatively smoothly. When trust is absent, business deals get ‘stuck’, valuable time and effort is wasted and results are much harder to achieve.

It’s probably safe to assume that, if you’re reading this email, you already ARE a trusted professional!

So what’s the difference between being trusted and respected and what’s the best way to reach this coveted status?

Based on my 10 years of working as an Executive Coach alongside amazing professionals across the globe, I’ve noticed there is one thing that respected professionals always do, which adds to their sense of gravitas:

They are willing to speak up, give balanced feedback, and positively challenge (in a nice way)

The result – they are listened to more intently, have a more commanding ‘personal presence’ and are more likely to occupy leadership positions.

Sometimes it might be culturally challenging to raise issues directly, especially in more conservative cultures. People are strongly encouraged to speak up and assert their personalities in Western individualist societies, and this can sometimes cause inner conflict when, for example, someone with a different heritage is working for a Western multi-national.

Here are some things you can say and do to boost your ‘Respected Professional’ status:

5 Strategies to Consider

  1. Be willing to speak up. This is the first step and often the most difficult.
  2. Establish common ground and shared interests. We have a template to help you with this (click here to request it).
  3. Know what to say and how to say it. We have a ‘Crucial Conversations’ template you can use (click here to request a copy).
  4. Overcome your fear of causing offence to the other person. This is best achieved by remembering that, if you deliver your message positively and constructively, you are not responsible for their reaction to your feedback. Separate the person from the problem and focus on the latter.
  5. Within teams, the leader can foster ‘psychological safety’ where team members feel able to respectfully offer their opinions (click here to contact us for tips)

And YES these strategies really do work! I’ve used these countless times myself and have many clients from all cultural backgrounds who are currently using these ideas in all types of situations.

Hopefully this has made you think and consider your own approach.