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This article was excerpted from the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works: How to Become More Effective with Your Actions and Feel Good More Often.

IT'S NICE TO BE LIKED, but it is even more satisfying to be respected. And although it takes some effort, you can attain that desire. Here are three places your effort will increase the respect you get from people:

Increase your competence. People respect ability and skill, as long as you are noticeably good. This means trying to be a jack-of-all-trades doesn’t work. Concentrate your efforts. Choose a useful ability and hone yourself into the Mozart of that ability. If the skill is used at your job, your increasing competence may bring you a new pay level too. Work on improving your ability whenever you can. Become a master.

Use good manners. Without using please and thank you and would you mind, without saying hi to people and learning their names and interests, you will not earn people’s respect. Even if you’re competent, you will be resented rather than admired.

Speak up rather than smolder. Do it with good manners, but speak. It takes courage to speak up, and people know that and respect it. But when you speak up, make requests rather than simply complaining. Don’t say what you don’t like about what’s already been done; say what you’d like to see in the future. And think it through beforehand so you say it well.

DON'T WORRY about whether or not people like you. Concentrate on competence and good manners and saying what you need to say, and you’ll get more than liking. You’ll get even more than respect from others. You’ll earn the reward that might matter more than any other: You’ll respect yourself.


Increase your competence, use good manners, and speak up rather than smolder.

This article was excerpted from the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works: How to Become More Effective with Your Actions and Feel Good More Often.

learn another important way you can earn respect

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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