10 Ways to Show Respect for Your Coworkers

In my years of working in different teams and organizations,  I realized that the attribute most desired by a company is for its employees to be respectful of each other. The old saying of ‘”Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” comes to mind.

In today’s workplaces, it’s almost impossible to finish a project on your own without collaborating with others. But you will get even more done, more efficiently, when your coworkers respect (note that I didn’t say ‘like’) you. And they will respect you if YOU show them respect.

Here are 10 ways you can show respect for you coworkers:

  1. Don’t tease them or pull their legs. You are not in school anymore. No one respects bullies or wants to work with them.
  2. Don’t whine or try to unload your personal problems on your coworkers.
  3. Don’t discuss and argue about personal or political values/beliefs. You are very likely to offend someone.
  4. Don’t curse. NEVER. EVER.
  5. Be mindful and respectful when taking vacation days. If possible, coordinate taking days off with others on the team so that your absence doesn’t create too big of a workload for another colleague.
  6. Lower your voice when you talk on the phone. Turn down the music or use headphones. You may be disturbing others in the neighboring cubicles.
  7. It’s ok to disagree but don’t be disagreeable. Remember that your colleague also wants the best for your team and project but may have a different approach to solving the issues. Mind your manners and language especially when you have differences of opinion at work.
  8. Don’t gossip at work. This achieves nothing except establishing yourself as a loose mouth. How can you expect someone to trust you if you are gossiping to them about others all the time?
  9. If you understand you’ve made a mistake, apologize professionally. Be gracious in accepting others’ apologies as well (i.e. don’t say, “you better be” if someone apologizes to you).
  10. Be an emotionally intelligent person overall. Tune in to other people’s feelings and know when your words and actions are upsetting them.

How else do you show respect to your colleagues and team members? Don’t forget to share in the discussion!


Nuzhat is  a Program Manager  and  Social Media Specialist responsible for creating, managing and  marketing the Web 2.0 strategy  for EMC’s University Relations. She represents the  EMC Employment Brand to prospective interns & entry level candidates using social media tools & techniques and manages the internal online community for EMC’s interns and new college hires.  She hosts on campus career development  workshops on resume writing, networking skills, Things To Know Before Entering the Real World, etc. She earned her BS Degree in Logisitc & Supply Chain Management from University of North Texas. To find out more, follow her on twitter @NuzhatMK. To get more information on internships and entry level oppurtunities at EMC, check out and follow EMCCollege on twitter.

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3 Responses to “10 Ways to Show Respect for Your Coworkers”

  1. avatar Josh Moore says:

    Great article. I would add another one:
    - Always be on your best dress. Don’t wear clothing that looks inappropriate for work. if piercings are not acceptable, take them out. if suits are required, make sure you wear little extras (such as cuff links). You want to build up the team by being a positive and active contribution, not drag the team reputation down through your appearance.

    Keep up the good work.


  2. avatar Matt says:

    Be aware of the promises you make to co-workers or teams. If you say you’ll do something, then you better come through.

  3. avatar Nuzhat Karim says:

    Both are great points and I completely agree. Thanks to Matt and Josh for sharing.

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