The Absolute Best Way to Gain Respect While Maintaining Likeability

Is through positive reinforcement.

With these two simple words comes a notion that is often overlooked in the classroom, in the home, and in the workplace for other sterner, and less effective, methods of behavior-correction.

If you want people to listen to you, the first step is to build relationships, and the next is to create a positive environment where people can feel respected themselves and are then able to extend that respect back to you.



Positive reinforcement boils down to this: the focus on reinforcing positive behaviors over negative ones.

This can be accomplished by catching people who’ve done something remarkable and commending them for it.

You can use positive reinforcement in situations with kids, relationship partners, business partners, friends, employees, students, and the list goes on and on.


Examples of Why it Works


When it comes to kids, using positive reinforcement as they’re completing an activity that is to your liking (e.g., playing independently, maintaining good-manners at a store, or finishing a meal without throwing any of it across the room) usually merits a positive response.

On the other hand, if you were to only give negative responses to negative situations, the child would think that you only give her attention when she behaves poorly.

When a child pushes the boundaries, she is looking to incite a response from you. If you choose to give this response when she is behaving well instead of poorly, you will teach her that you value positive behavior over negative.


It can be tricky to maintain a balance between friendship and authority figure when you are a boss.

If you forget to pay attention to your employees when they’re doing superior work, and only seem to criticize the faults of their performance, then you’re overlooking your chance to empower your employee.

When people feel empowered and respected, they are more eager to share their successes with you instead of hide their failures.


Show that you can be appeased

No one likes to hear criticisms from someone who can’t first give a compliment. Learning to give positive reinforcement will allow you to mix the bad with the good while still keeping a friendly vibe.

Because honestly, you can solve problems in a superior way when you’ve got the discipline not to treat people like crap.


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