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.
Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.