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    Earning Respect

    created by colorwheel05 285 days 7 hours 15 minutes ago

    Category: Politics

    Earning Respect

    Good morning CNet,

    As you may know based on some of my past posts, I started a new job recently. In my position, I often work closely with designers from other firms on various projects.

    There is one particular firm I'm currently working with where all the designers are really snobby and pretentious as if they know more than me. I've been out of college for 5 years and have plenty of experience working in the field, but it often feels like these ladies have no respect for me. As if I'm a newbie and they assume I don't know what I'm doing. On the one hand, I try to remind myself that their respect has nothing to do with my ability to do my job. I'm good at what I do. That's why I got hired. At the same time, it makes me really self conscious. I have to work with them as if they work for the same company I do and there's no escaping that. I have to prove myself so they will take me seriously.

    I'm still working out how exactly I will do that. I can be very timid, so when people seem not to like me it kind of makes me not want to talk or speak my mind around them. As if it matters that they like me. I am learning how to be more outgoing so that is a big part of it.

    What has your experience been where someone isn't giving you the time of day?

    How did you earn their respect?

    Is their respect even worth earning in cases like this?

    Thank you for your responses!

    Re: Earning Respect

    Hey Gabriella,
    Great topic. I work in a group of 30 men, where I am the only female and I'm significantly younger. I notice that starting off working with the majority of the group members, they do not trust in my ability and I have to prove to them that I am knowledgeable and capable in my job.

    I've had to be extra confident in my skills and stand up for myself when working with others. For example, I was in a meeting this week and an attendee made a comment how he wished my coworker was in the meeting so he could guide what was going on. I stopped him and said I was the lead Project Manager for this project and any questions would need to be directed through me.

    Especially in a male dominated industry, I have to push harder for respect but it is worth it in the end.


    Re: Earning Respect

    Sounds like my own experiences.

    My advice is twofold!

    First, learn how to improve your assertiveness. Listen to podcasts on it, buy books, watch you tube videos. Learn about language and body language that will bee seen as powerful. Learn little things you can say to put people in their place. Not to insult them but to make sure no one is walking all over you.

    Second, be you! You don't have to turn into someone else to be successful. As long as when you do say things you say them with strength, let these ninnies have their attitudes. There is a saying down south: bless your heart! Start learning when you can use it!

    Re: Earning Respect

    Hi Gabriella,

    Sorry you have to deal with that kind of pettiness especially at a new job. I have dealt with similar attitudes at work at my previous job. After being there a while and proving myself, even getting recognized by the head boss in a staff meeting, I seemed to get more respect overall and not treated as much like a newbie. I would say just keep doing your job and doing it well. You will demonstrate that you belong there and if people still do not treat you with respect that you have shown you deserve (they should be treating you with respect now btw) I would think that maybe they feel threatened by your skill level. Either way, I wouldn't personally be too concerned about them. I would continue being professional toward them but wouldn't go out of my way to try to earn respect that you should already be getting. Sounds more like a problem they have.

    Re: Earning Respect

    Hey Gabriella,

    Sorry your work environment is far from optimal these days. It is never easy working in an environment where you don't feel respected and you doubt your own abilities because of it.

    I agree that being who you are will allow you to be the most confident. I know its' hard too feel confident when you know that others are doubting your abilities or assuming you lack knowledge but that is when it is most needed.

    There are some individuals who are just naturally assertive and others who have to work a little harder at it, but in the long run it can really pay off.

    Hang in there and be who you are and they will have no choice but to respect you, you're the one who is the professional!

    Good luck!


    Re: Earning Respect

    Howdy colorwheel05,

    That is a sucky work environment, I wouldn't put in the extra effort to prove myself to anyone. I just always go above and beyond with anything that I apply myself too. I don't think that respect is earned, some people will respect you and others simply won't. If you have a bit more experience, some people may respect you more.

    I think by simply being an astounding individual, the notoriety will come. You shouldn't have to put effort forth trying to prove yourself.

    Thanks for Reading,


    Re: Earning Respect

    Hi Gabriella,

    What kind of designers do you work with? That sounds like such a great job! :D

    Of course, minus this situation you are dealing with. I totally understand where you are coming from and know that you have the ability and strength to deal with this, or you would not be in this situation. This is how I see it:

    Where there is a breakdown, there is a breakthrough.

    You are experiencing a situation by these designers that is putting you in a situation where you are being challenged. The way you have lived life up to this point has been working for the level of life you have been living up until now. However, now life is asking you to step up out of what you are used to in order to gain the respect of these feisty individuals. I hope this makes sense.

    To me the best thing you can do is like what everyone else is saying. I think you should continue to be unapologetically yourself and bring your best effort 150% each day. Consistency is key and it is also what gains peoples' respect in the long run. That is my opinion.

    Best of luck you you Gabriella!



    Re: Earning Respect

    Hey Gabriella!

    There is some great advice on there that I might have to jot down for myself! Especially since I am going into a male dominated field, everyone will be watching, so I need to be sure of myself and exude confidence if I'm going to make it.

    In some situations, kill em with kindness really works, it puts you above their behavior for one and showing compassion for these kinds of people can often lead them to like and respect you more. Also practice active listening and contribute to the conversation as often as possible.

    In the end, these designers don't have to be your friend, but you can make yourself a valuable employee which will earn respect.


    Re: Earning Respect

    That sounds like a really difficult work situation, sorry that people can be so rude!

    I'm sure it'll be helpful to be more assertive and to stand up for yourself as some others have suggested, but I think it's also important to determine how much their respect really means to you. Do you need it? Do you even really want it?

    I've been in my situations where I know the person standing in front of me thinks they're smarter or more capable than me. I've learned to ask myself if I even care that they think this. As long as their opinion doesn't effect my performance, my promotions, or my salary, who cares? It's mind over matter!

    Re: Earning Respect

    Wow thank you all so much for your feedback! Your comments and pointers will be really helpful. I wrote this forum because I knew I had a meeting today with these ladies, and I was kind of dreading it. My experience today went as expected (not all that pleasant) so I'm looking forward to implementing some of what you all are saying.

    Several of you make a really awesome point...maybe I don't need their respect at all. I hadn't thought about that. Crummy people are not worth any extra effort. Thanks for reminding me of that.

    I do want to add something on to my original post and just say that my actual colleagues are great. They are not the people I work on projects with, but they are still my teammates. The people I sit next to every day are pleasant to be around and have not contributed to these feelings. It's the people outside the company that are a problem.

    I really do like my job and there's a good support network. I'm hoping for an opportunity to bring up some of my concerns to one of my teammates to see what they think. Maybe they have had the same experience with these designers.

    Song - To answer your question about what type of work I do...I am a commercial interior designer. I work for a Knoll furniture dealership as a designer and project manager, so I work alongside sales people to provide office furniture solutions and designs. I have worked in similar settings with other companies, but my primary experience is in project management and design for K-12 facilities.

    The people I'm having trouble with work for an architecture firm that we often collaborate with on larger projects. I have had this experience many times before with people who work for architecture firms. Interior designers and architects often butt heads for a variety of reasons. Designers at furniture dealerships and designers at architecture firms often butt heads as well. I don't really understand why. My sister is an architect, and I hope that she will remember me when she has to work with people like me!

    Thanks again for all the great posts!