Gaining respect can sometimes take years to build. However, here are a few tips on how you can command respect quicker. Sometimes almost instantly. This is vital when you need to make a great first impression such as interviewing for a job, starting up a new team, or leading a meeting.

1. Upgrade Your Look:

Dress one step nicer than the average person in the room. If they are in golf shirts, wear a long sleeve button-down shirt. If they are in button-down shirts, throw on a jacket. Get a hair cut. Shave or at least trim the beard. For women, dress professionally and think about being bold and noticed.

2. Take Up More Physical Space:

Before stepping into a meeting, roll your shoulders back a few times, inhale deeply, and walk in with your head high. Don’t be afraid to spread your arms to make a point. Confident people take up space with their legs when they sit and often make bigger hand movements. Picture Tony Robbins or Donald Trump.

3. Use Appropriate Touch to Connect:

Be the first to extend a hand for a firm handshake. Put a hand on a shoulder or top of the back to make a point. Appropriate touch is important to build a personal connection. Warning: A touch should only last a second or two and never in an inappropriate way. Gauge whether it is welcomed as some may still reject any touch after Covid.

4. Don’t Allow Yourself to be Cutoff:

If you are in the middle of an important point and get interrupted, interject to concisely finish your point. Then refer back to the person so they can make their point. However, if you were running on without a point, they might be interrupting you to shut you up. Therefore, be precise and purposeful when you speak.

5. Compliment Your Competition:

Confident people are not afraid of competition. Tearing down someone else, like a competitor, a former boss, or a company, comes across as a weakness in you. Talk positively about others and then emphasize what unique ideas, or skills you bring to the table.

6. Openly Share Your Shortcomings:

None of us are perfect. A confident person knows themselves well and is willing to share where they need to make improvements. Being authentic and vulnerable takes courage. While you don’t have to share your life struggles, being honest about how you are trying to improve yourself is attractive.

These 6 steps can help you establish a higher level of respect and realign your status within a group or organization. People want to follow a good leader. Projecting confidence, clarity of message, and personal connection will endear you to great things in the future.

About Tim Howard

Tim Howard is the founder of 5 technology firms including Fortify Experts. He has a passion for helping CISOs develop Higher Performing Teams through People – (Executive Search, vCISOs, Expert Consulting), Processes (Assessment, Leadership Coaching, and NIST-based 3rd party security assessments), and Technology (Cybersecurity Simplifying Solutions).

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