By Michael Riggs
The Gallup organization performed a survey and found that the most important measure of success in life, according to prominent living Americans, is the degree of respect a person earns and receives from others. Successful people work hard to gain the respect of their peers, friends, families, customers, and coworkers. The respect they gain is highly correlated to the success they will experience in their life.
There are three general ways to gain the respect of others.
Become Respect Worthy
Before we can expect others to give us their respect, we must first put significant effort into becoming a person worthy of respect. This means developing our character and being committed to living a value-driven life. Respected people live by the values of honesty, integrity, and authenticity. By becoming truly respect-worthy, doors of influence will open in your life. When you become respect-worthy, success will follow.
Respected people are recognized as well-informed and strive to gain as much knowledge as possible about their field. Respect comes from knowing more about your subject than the average person. The highest-paid people, or experts, in any given field are those who have the most knowledge. Those with superior knowledge gain greater respect from others and are therefore able to have superior influence. When you acquire knowledge, success will follow.
Develop your expertise and you will gain the respect of others. While expertise is closely tied to knowledge, it focuses on your ability to “do”. This means you must focus on your ability to perform well in your field. Those with expertise continually practice whatever they do until they become known as an expert in their field.
For instance, the best salespeople are those who have the greatest knowledge of their product or service and can create curiosity, show value and establish an urgency to purchase. They also are very erudite about their competition and can display a competitive advantage. Respected salespeople understand their own goals while being clued-in to the wants and needs of their customers in order to appeal to them effectively.
This ability execute one’s expertise applies to all fields and areas of life. If you are church pastor you must to be able pastor extremely well; if you are a teacher you must be able to teach very well; if you are a parent you must be able to parent very well; if you are a student you must be able to learn very well; if you are an athlete you must be able to perform very well. When you prove your expertise, success will follow.