Get Respect at Work: Influence Without Manipulating  

It is tempting to resort to subtle manipulation to win influence at work. Manipulating co-workers, however subtle it may be, is a mistake. It is better to gain power in the workplace by proving your merit and building goodwill with fellow employees as time progresses. The challenge lies in figuring out how to win influence in the workplace without manipulating others. Otherwise, you run the risk of being perceived as a manipulator who turns the workplace from a civil environment into one that is toxic. Here are five ways to gain respect from colleagues without resorting to manipulation.


  1. Expand your Knowledge Base


Become particularly knowledgeable about your line of work and the unique challenges that face your company, and it will be that much easier to earn others respect. Once you earn the respect of others, you will be able to influence them without manipulation. However, plenty of people in your office likely have in-depth knowledge of operations and the many challenges facing the organization. Go the extra distance by attempting to comprehend the pain points of those whose favor you hope to win. Instead of abusing this information, use it as a launching point to put your expertise and work ethic on display. Resolve co-workers’ issues with your unique approach, and you really will earn their respect and prove that much more influential at work.


  1. Simply ask for What You Desire


Most people are hesitant to ask for what they desire. You might be surprised by what you can get by simply asking for it. Fail to ask for what you want, and you probably won’t get it. Do not let your fear of appearing overly-forward or the fear of rejection stop you from asking for something to go your way. Merely making such an inquiry is a significant component of exerting influence in the workplace and making your desires known to decision-makers in the upper echelon of your workplace.


  1. Paint a Picture with Words


Communication is an invaluable tool in the workplace as well as in life in general. If you genuinely believe in what you are doing, saying and desire, be completely forthcoming with your co-workers. Show your hand, reveal how your leadership will improve the workplace, and those invisible walls between co-workers will gradually crumble down.


  1. Prove You are Worthy of Trust


If your co-workers do not trust you, you will not be able to influence them. The best way to establish a positive rapport in the workplace is to speak less and listen more. Ask questions, listen carefully to the responses of your co-workers, provide relevant responses that prove you listened, and you will have made considerable headway in earning the trust of your co-workers.


  1. Do not Wilt in the Face of Objections


It is nearly guaranteed objections will be raised after you propose your ideas. The bottom line is that people in the workplace and elsewhere are resistant to change. However, if you can overcome objections raised by colleagues through clarification, it will be much easier to convince co-workers to see things your way.





Authentic Leadership is Effective Leadership

Authentic leadership may sound like just another buzzword or fad that will run its course. But don’t let a loaded term deter you – leading with authenticity means being real and genuine, speaking and living openly and honestly. And it benefits your business by improving productivity and employee and customer retention.

According to Bill George, authentic leadership is not an excuse to implement a rigid management style. Instead, authentic leaders are those who demonstrate five qualities: understanding their purpose, practicing solid values, leading with heart, establishing connected relationships, and demonstrating self-discipline.

When we’re in the presence of an authentic leader, it’s difficult not to be swayed. They speak from the heart, and their presence and confidence are tangible. People want to follow and listen to them. They are respected, even in disagreement.

One study showed that employees that perceive their leadership to be authentic were more satisfied with their jobs, committed to their organizations, and happier at work.

Authenticity is not, however, something that comes from expensive clothes, good PR, inspirational quotes or fervently reading leadership articles. It stems from genuine self-awareness and self-growth.

Here are some tips to be an authentic leader:

Discover your story

Think about your story, and what brought you to this moment in your life and your business. Everyone has a unique story to tell, and this true story about yourself is the one that will be the most compelling. Think about your values, and what matters most to you. What are your strengths and weaknesses, and what are your hopes and dreams for the future? It might be helpful to talk to a branding agency or a communications professional to get to the heart of the matter.

Get Feedback

While it’s never easy to listen to criticism, leaders must ask their subordinates, peers, friends, and mentors for honest feedback on their leadership style. Find out what’s working and what’s not, and be open to learning from others.


Your story shouldn’t be static; instead, it should evolve with you as you learn and grow your company. As an authentic leader, you should also seek to continually grow and develop, frequently taking on challenges to improve yourself.

Being an authentic leader requires hard work, courage, and determination. It’s a difficult thing to continually work on developing yourself, doing what you believe to be right, and working on problems that matter to you. But ultimately, that’s what makes an authentic leader so inspiring.

Robb Misso

Robb Misso has worked in manufacturing for over 25 years, co-founding the Austin Regional Manufacturer’s Association along the way. As CEO of Dynamic Manufacturing Solutions, he has focused on bringing skilled labor jobs back to Central Texas from low-cost regions outside the United States. Mr. Misso believes in creating a work culture that empowers all members of an organization, and he has been recognized for his compassionate, results-oriented leadership in this regard.

During Mr. Misso’s tenure as CEO, DMS has come to be characterized by the innovative, efficient solutions they offer to clients across the globe. Drawing on his experience at many levels of the manufacturing process, he interfaces with customers to help them identify weaknesses in their model and then provides high quality, repeatable answers using the cutting-edge resources and superior skill housed at DMS.

As the recipient of Austin’s “Recognize Good Award” honoring individuals for their contributions to local charity work, Mr. Misso has been instrumental in establishing DMS as a compassionate member of the greater Austin community. He has found unique ways to put the resources at DMS to philanthropic ends, donating to the Austin Humane Society and the Austin Literary Coalition, among several others.

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